RTJ CU4TRO – [Run the Jewels]

Although there are numerous noteworthy duos in the history of hip-hop, it feels like two of the most unignorable emcees come in the form of EL-P and Killer Mike. Coming together to make up the duo Run the Jewels, these two dynamos have been raved about for close to a decade as a tag team and even longer individually, but there is just something about their music that gives people no choice but to listen when you first catch a whiff of their assertive, confident bars on any song they’re a part of.

If you somehow aren’t familiar with either emcee, you should know that neither rapper is going to shy away from a debacle, and if anything, they seem to embrace debate regardless of the subject of conversation. While Mike has become a voice for those who feel as if they’ve been silenced, EL-P has continued to wow fans with his music throughout the years, so basically, you can’t overlook either rapper regardless of how hard you may try for whatever reason. Back in 2020, they dropped their project RTJ4, an effort that seemed to further their legacy as one of the top duets in the music business, but I had no idea what that was going to lead to.

Of course, I’m referencing RTJ CU4TRO, their latest release that completely flips the original version of the effort on its head in the best possible way. Most artists might release a deluxe version of a project with some new songs and leave it at that, but this continuation is actually brought to life with the help of the artistry and creative vision of musicians from across Latin America. Whether it’s a flip on an instrumental, newly supplemented vocals, or a Latin flair added to a song that listeners know and love, this project feels like it is an entirely new entity rather than an alternate version of the previously released body of work.

This wasn’t done as a random endeavor, either, because as we have come to expect from the charitable pair, they raised over $116,000 to help reunite and mend families who have been brutally affected by the events occurring at the border dividing the US and Mexico. Run the Jewels is like an onion in a musical sense just as much they are in an activism sense because they never seem to do something within their careers without thinking outside of the box or figuring out a way to help others in some form or another, and their latest efforts are another addition to their long string of advocacy and generosity. While their music is not something that you can easily neglect, neither is their authority in pop culture, which makes RTJ CU4TRO something you need to get familiar with ASAP if you haven’t checked it out already.