After Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony, the complaints flooded out across the typical social media platforms as usual. The film her brought filmmaker Spike Jonze a well deserved Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (that film is genuinely amazing), but something like that always slips through and it still doesn’t mean that the awards are very credible overall. Spring Breakers wasn’t nominated for anything at all — not even for cinematography or music — so fuck the academy. There are still some unspoken guidelines that need to be met before you’ll ever be let in through the door.
Likewise, people really lost their shit at the end of January when Macklemore won 4 Grammys, including the Best Rap Album award over Kendrick Lamar‘s Good Kid Maad City, which everybody, apparently, collectively decided should have been the unquestionable winner. Within days came additional backlash against Mackelemore after he sent a text to Kendrick telling him that he had “robbed” him of the Grammy and didn’t deserve to win it. The actions of the Seattle pop star and Ellen audience demographic favorite were called into question because he actually posted his text on Instagram — as I saw at least one person put it, “Macklemore is a humble guy and he’ll let you know about it.” But while the world was losing their damn minds over that worthless insignificant bullshit, trying to prove who was or wasn’t the most “hip hop” while attacking the Grammys — an organization that awarded Puff Daddy & The Family the same honor over Notorious B.I.G. in 1998 and constantly nominates the same handful of artists, year after year — I continued to wonder why any of that shit even mattered, or why this idea that Kendrick Lamar was supposed to have made the “best” album was so incontestable. Last year, neither Brooklyn producer/rapper EL-P‘s Cancer 4 Cure, or the album that he produced for Atlanta‘s Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music, were even nominated. Likewise, EL and Mike‘s first real full-on collaborative effort as the duo Run The Jewels didn’t get the slightest bit of acknowledgment from the big shots handing out prizes this year either. So, fuck them too.
The truth of the matter is that both Mike and EL have been pumping out solid work built on skill and integrity for so long that they’ve paved their own lanes and, as their work under the Run The Jewels moniker continues to prove, their goal is always to reach toward creating uncompromised master works, first and foremost, never to please any awards panel. Even the name Run The Jewels is a bit of a knock on the usual subjects like Kanye West and Jay-Z (both nominated this year), who formed their own power duo, Watch The Throne, and believe the hype and praise that they are continuously showered with at fancy award ceremonies by Hollywood cornballs. RTJ, on the other hand, released their debut for free last year, which basically just consists of the two emcees alternating raw boastful verses over EL‘s classic, heavy hitting time-warps and crunchy space beats. It’s aggressive and often brilliant, but the greatest part is how much fun you can tell that they’ve been having. Even when they’re fucking off and spitting through fabricated personas, they are still 2 of the most genuine artists in the game. If nothing else, it’s incredibly refreshing.
The day that the album was released, we posted all about it and included the free download link. If you still haven’t picked that up or downloaded it yet, then you should probably pull your shit together and go do that now. But if, for some absurd reason, you can’t be bothered to risk your precious computer memory for a free album that you haven’t heard yet, then you’re in luck. This morning Run The Jewels released the video to the opening/title track from the eponymous debut, their publicist sent us the link, and we’ve posted below.
And here… while we’re at it, why not check out the previously released video for the song “36 Inch Chain,” which also appears on their debut effort. Comically gory, this one even features party master, Andrew W.K as one of their victims.
On March 21st, you can catch Run The Jewels at Treefort Music Festival in Boise, ID.