Year’s Best: Okayplayer’s Top 14 Albums Of 2014

Okayplayer's Top 14 Albums Of 2014

Okayplayer's Top 14 Albums Of 2014

12. Killer Mike & El-P – Run The Jewels II

Damn near perfect as a total body of work, Run The Jewels II LP spits all over the suggestion of a sophomore slump and provides a very concise blueprint for what a properly executed hip-hop project can be when all of its gears are properly oiled and the artists’ most noble intentions, fearless ideas and gutter tendencies are allowed to mingle and bear fruit.  Killer Mike and El-P are as political as they are impolite and the deft hand with which they inscribe their voices onto wax is a harbinger of the genre’s potential for life after death; Run The Jewels II has been wildly popular above and below ground, despite the proliferation of the urban radio agenda and the complaints of many purists, who believe that their beloved genre has been watered down to the point of permanent injury and possible impotence. The follow-up project proves that the duo’s success and sound were not merely a flash in the pan meant to fade after the first LP, but the beginning of a series of critically-acclaimed cult classics that have allowed Killer Mike and El-P to find their stride in the game and force hip-hop to evolve in the process.  The Meow The Jewels cat sounds LP is only one very concrete and quirky example of this.  People have asked whether the first album is better than the second, or vice versa.  Each project is singular, spectacular and significant to a specific point in the duo’s growth.  Run The Jewels II will never be Run The Jewels, and fortunately it didn’t try to be. Raising the bar on their second outing, Killer Mike and El-P amp up the electricity, channel the deviant spirit of punk, pick apart the system and make it abundantly clear that it is perfectly fine to be intelligent and unapologetic at the same damn time.  Theirs is a take on beats and rhymes that has burned the instruction manual, cemented them as legends and challenged all of the fuckboys in the industry – especially your favorite rappers and producers – to do better. – Karas Lamb

>>>Buy Run The Jewels 2 On iTunes

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