When we caught Run The Jewels live in Seattle earlier this month, the duo ended the show by offering the crowd 2 options. The first was for them to simply end the night on top with the solid performance that they had already provided. The second was for them to attempt to perform a brand new song that they had never tried out before. In fact, if what they were telling us was true, they had, more or less, only just finished recording it–along with the rest of their upcoming sophomore release–before hopping on a plane and flying out to come perform for us. Of course, the audience chose the latter and, when they did, the continuity of the evening was definitely affected. Something was different about this new track and, while rapper/producer Jaime “EL-Producto” Meline addressed it with the expected, “see… we weren’t really ready to do that one… we bumbled a couple of spots… etc.”-type response expected from a perfectionist at his level, the shift wasn’t necessarily a negative thing. The new track, which has just been officially released this morning, shows the pair moving forward in a slightly new direction, while retaining the same aggressive mood and lyrical prowess that made their debut release such a breakout hit.
The track, “Blockbuster Night Part 1” has a driving, pulsing rhythm advanced by a grimy, trudging bass line that almost sounds like something that you might hear Les Claypool deliver in collaboration with Melvins on a DJ Screw tape. When underground legend and founder of Definitive Jux records, Meline teamed up with Atlanta powerhouse and Dungeon Family affiliate, Killer Mike to release the first Run The Jewels album as a free download last year, the two simply wanted to present a light-hearted collaboration while revisiting heavy hitting aggressive beats in the vein of those early-90s Bomb Squad-produced bangers that Ice Cube was pushing out just after his departure for NWA. They wanted something with a heavy kick, something that rattles the speakers and made people wake the fuck up. They wanted to make something with their new found friendship as the platform that was infused with pure joy and energy; something less serious, draining, and laborious than their typical output, where they could just crack wise, boast, and talk shit. That energy translated so remarkably that this free little release that they hadn’t expected much out of, became a straight up phenomenon and found itself on too many “best album” year end lists to mention. This brand new track shows them displaying that same bravado and with the same enthusiasm, but with a noticeably new aesthetic, slow moving and more methodical.
In recent months, RTJ have provided little teasers to what will be their sophomore effort–now announced simply as RTJ2 with a scheduled release date of October 24th–such as brief sound clips and news about featured appearances by both Zach Delarocha (Rage Against The Machine), and drummer, Travis Barker (more appearances tba). RTJ2, which is being released by NAS‘s recently launched Mass Appeal records, has also been announced as a free download, accompanied by physical CD and LP releases for those that want to purchase them. Of the new album, El-P states, “We are very excited to bring you the next chapter of Run The Jewels via the good folks at Mass Appeal,” warning “We can make no promises about the safety of any animals involved in the creation of this record.” To which Killer Mike adds the promises that, “It is the best rap group album since RTJ1!” If this new joint is any indicator, things are definitely looking promising.
Check it out below…