Actually “RTJ4” was not supposed to be released until this Friday. But due to the current situation in the USA, Killer Mike and El-P have now brought forward the release of their fourth album together. On their Instagram account the duo made a statement about this.
RTJ4″ can be described with just one word among the frightening conditions that have become visible in the US public these days: Urgency. Within seven years, RTJ has risen from a pure rap retired joker gang to a Conscious Rap authority. The synergy of the insane sample virtuoso El-P, who knows how to carefully pour New York rap culture consciousness into contemporary aggro beats, and Killer Mike, the good and bad conscience of the US music world, gets its preliminary peak form on the fourth collabo release. Never before has the Jewel Runners’ canon of themes, including police violence, racism, social and capitalism criticism, been as weighty and up to date as now. “RTJ4” is an album for riots.
“RTJ4” is an album for uprisings
The duo is actively supported by various contributions from Pharrell Williams, 2 Chainz, Gangsta Boo, DJ Premier or Greg Nice, but also by gospel icon Mavis Staples and rock legends like Zack de la Rocha and Josh Homme. The guest list also demonstrates the weight that a release by RTJ has in the US hip hop scene by now. Not least because of Killer Mike’s emotional speech a few days ago, it became clear that songs like “Walking In The Snow” (an oppressive def-jux-meets-Three-Six-operetta) or the stadium-sized anti-love-movement “The Ground Below” carry the anger of a whole generation. This is no longer dystopia, this is real talk.
“RTJ4” is now available on all streaming platforms and as a free download on runthejewels.com. Starting in September, various physical bundles of the album, including quadruple vinyl LPs with all instrumental versions, T-shirt or hoodie, will also be available for purchase. In addition, there is an option on the website to donate to the Mass Defense Program of the US National Lawyers Guild, which takes care of the needs of activists and demonstrators. According to El-P, more than $50,000 was already generated for the program on yesterday’s release day.