Killer Mike has spent the past few years ruling hip hop as one half of Run The Jewels, but in 2012’s R.A.P. Music, he has a solo project capable of rivalling anything in the RTJ back catalogue. It’s worth mentioning that El-P, this fellow Jewel Runner, produced the whole record, but R.A.P.’s aesthetic is one of pure, righteous, southern hip hop: the kind of music he grew up around, and embodies in everything he does.
This is Mike’s definitive solo work. Simmering with unrepentant anger, it is, like all the best hip hop albums, fuelled by Mike’s dismay at the state of the world around him. Tracks like “Reagan” and “Don’t Die” are unapologetically political, while the likes of “Big Beast” hit like a George Foreman uppercut, and don’t let up throughout.
R.A.P. Music is no one-note album, however. “Anywhere But Here” and “Untitled” cut through the aggression with quieter contemplation, though the album’s socially conscious themes remain constant throughout. It’s these changes of pace that make R.A.P. so palatable, and El-P more than fulfils his end of the bargain, crafting a varied collection of bombastic, southern-friend beats to soundtrack Mike’s rebellious energy.
A caffeine-dependent life-form from the frozen wastes of north east Scotland. He once tried to start a revolution but didn't print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone turned up. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.