Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unrealeased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Talk To Me” by Run the Jewels, from the 2017 album Run The Jewels 3 on Run the Jewels, Inc..
El-P and Killer Mike would have gone down as hip-hop legends even if they had never joined forces to Run the Jewels (see Cannibal Ox, R.A.P. Music, Company Flow, etc.). But the world would not be just quite the same (and certainly more complacent) without Run the Jewels in it. Their first album was legendary, their second proved it wasn’t a fluke (even if that was never in question) and Meow the Jewels gave fans all they could ever ask for. Each move they make seems to beg the question of “how could they possibly top this?,” a question that the duo always answers defiantly. So, with the political turmoil in the U.S. needing a soundtrack, Run the Jewels obliged and once again out-did themselves with the Christmas surprise that was Run The Jewels 3. The album picks up where Run The Jewels 2 left off, and is 14 songs full of the duo’s unique blend of bravado, musicianship and scathing social commentary. El-P’s production conjures images of a futuristic dystopia, and the pairs’ rhymes make you question whether or not you aren’t already living in one. Album cut and song of the day “Talk To Me” rings especially clear post-inauguration (does “a bad toupee and a spray tan” sound familiar?). The powerful track offers an espionage infused beat and an onslaught of hard hitting references that become more and more relevant with every passing day. It is fitting that an album that hosts Kamasi Washington as seamlessly as it does Danny Brown should have a song that is home to a bible verse, a Chuck D nod and a Walter Sobchak reference. None feel forced, and the song perfectly captures what much of the country is feeling right now. Killer Mike’s closing interlude of “I told y’all on RTJ1, then I told ya again on RTJ2, and you still ain’t believe me. So here we go, RTJ3″ evokes a cruel catch-22. It is sad that the world still needs the social critique of RTJ, but man is it fun to be told.
For all things Run the Jewels, be sure to visit their website and Facebook page. You can also catch Run the Jewels on February 7th at a sold out Showbox SODO. In the meantime, check out the thought process behind the release of Run The Jewels 3: