While Run the Jewels’ self titled debut album gained Killer Mike and El-P plenty of well deserved attention, it was with the release of Run the Jewels 2 in October that they were finally able to establish themselves as the best act in hip-hop right now. They have accepted this position with grace and humility and in the process have gained a massive fan base all over the world in just two years. With support coming from arguably the best Irish hip hop act this year, God Knows, MuRli & MynameisjOhn, this sold out gig in Opium Rooms was exactly what was to be expected, a joyous celebration of some of the best hip hop around right now.
After petitioning online to ensure they got the support act slot the Limerick trio know they couldn’t disappoint and they did far from that. From the get go they create the type of energetic atmosphere that artists crave to get from their gigs. The beats bang out a constant rate, with little to no pauses between tracks. God Knows and MuRli rattle off their verses with ferocious energy while leaping around the stage and causing general ruckus with no hint of aggression, just expression.
With Christmas being 4 days away and Killer Mike and El-P wrapping up a massive tour in Dublin, the celebratory nature of the gig comes as no surprise. Both walk on stage to Queen’s ‘We Are the Champions’ and break straight into their self titled track, emitting a huge sound. ‘Blockbuster Night Part 1’ and ‘Oh My Darling Don’t Cry’ initiate a frantic pace that is kept up for the entire set, that clocks in at well over an hour. It seems to be the newer material that spurs the bigger reactions, with ‘Love Again’ sparking a loud and pretty hilarious sing along. ‘36” Chain’ & ‘Sea Legs’ both sound as sharp as they do on record, with the only minor faults being scarce breaks in Mike’s voice which to be honest can be expected at the end of a tour anyway.
Leaking the album early, letting Meow the Jewels happen, having a longer set than most, are just a few of the reasons why the crowd shows such appreciation towards them. They are willing to go the extra mile that most rappers won’t to please their fans and it works both ways. Mike gives someone a bottle of vodka, only under strict instructions that he share it. They even request that the security be removed from the front of the stage, on the grounds that they unnecessary because the crowd is a family. It may sound cliché, but he’s right. It may have gotten a bit rowdy but no one appeared uncomfortable, no one got hurt. It was simply a sold out room of people having a good time, with one of the biggest acts at the moment who were as appreciative, if not more, of their presence.
Run The Jewels photographed for State by Mark Early