What started as a one-off project that quickly evolved into a Grammy-nominated hip-hop super duo, Run the Jewels features the talents of Brooklyn rapper/producer El-P and Atlanta emcee Killer Mike. Following their critically acclaimed, underground hit Run the Jewels (2013), they expanded their reach with crossover breakthrough Run the Jewels 2 (2014) and the chart-topping Run the Jewels 3 (2016), becoming an in-demand headliner for both rap and alternative rock fans.
Formed after El-P produced Killer Mike's 2012 album, R.A.P. Music, the duo released Run the Jewels in 2013, an album credited to Killer Mike and El-P and released on Fool's Gold. Critically popular and with a sizable fan base to boot, Run the Jewels quickly garnered national attention when their sophomore effort, RTJ2, landed in 2014. A crowd-funded remix version of the album with all the music replaced by samples of cats was released in 2015 as Meow the Jewels. It featured guest appearances from Portishead's Geoff Barrow, Dan the Automator, and Internet sensation Lil Bub. The group ended the year with the single "Rubble Kings (Dynamite on the Street)," released by the Adult Swim label.
In 2016, the duo announced RTJ3, which was set for release in early 2017. However, on Christmas Eve 2016, they unexpectedly uploaded the album as another free download. Featuring appearances by Joi, Trina, Boots, Danny Brown, Tunde Adebimpe, Kamasi Washington, and the return of Zack de la Rocha, RTJ3 debuted in the Billboard Top 20 and topped the R&B/hip-hop charts. Promoting the effort over the coming years, they headlined multiple festival stages across the globe and joined pop star Lorde on her 2018 Melodrama World Tour. That same year, a collaboration with Danger Mouse and Big Boi, "Chase Me," was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song. ~ David Jeffries & Neil Z. Yeung