NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series has veered toward hip-hop and R&B lately, with recent performances from D.R.A.M, Gucci Mane and jazz-hop maestros Badbadnotgood among those to perform in the last couple months. Now, Run The Jewels are the latest to join in the fun, with Killer Mike and El-P stopping by to perform music from their tremendous new album Run The Jewels 3.
The new album, surprised released a few weeks early on Christmas Day 2016, is as pertinent and venomous as you could have hoped for. The pair have crafted their sound and vision to a chiseled tee, finding the perfect balance between hip-hop braggadocio and real, relevant, sobering lyrics that hone in on current sociopolitical turmoils, most pointedly aimed toward a certain man “who wore a bad toupee and a spray tan.”
The 12-minute video features Mike, El and DJ Trackstar delivering Talk To Me, Legend Has It and A Report To The Shareholders. Clearly in a pretty good mood about it all, they make no secret of how unusual the tiny setting is. They even break the fourth wall a few times, for example, standing back to back and noting, “This is the pose we do in this song,” raising arms to the sky for their imaginary audience of thousands. El-P later picks up a banana and uses it as a mic because it “feels more natural,” and later joking to the NPR staff watching, “You know why they do these things? Because for at least one week you cannot complain about your fucking job. One week! I’m guessing they schedule this shit before everyone has to do a lot of work.”
RTJ are currently on tour in support of their new album. Our fingers and toes are crossed thy’ll be returning to Australia soon, having last visited for Falls Festival 2014-2015.