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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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« Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - May 2014 Chicago Rappers on the XXL Freshman List »

Artist Mon May 05 2014

El-P and Killer Mike = Run The Jewels

If Goose Island knows anything, it's that Chicago loves its hip-hop. And if you're a leading beer brand trying to win over the hearts and minds of Chicago's pumped up youth, you throw a kickass party in Pilsen co-sponsored by The FADER and invite the freshest duo coming out of the hip-hop scene — Run the Jewels, to the party.

As part of a three city tour, Analog Migration stopped by Chicago last week for the kick-off, bringing with it El-P and Killer Mike's Run The Jewels, Los Angeles-based punk band Tijuana Panthers and Chicago's DJ Timbuck2.

The last time I waxed poetic on hip-hop was when I got a backstage pass at a Roots show at a street festival a couple of summers ago, so I was out of my league on this one. So out of my league, that I forgot to leave my Ann Taylor blazer at home. Upon arrival, I immediately learned one thing: when you throw punk and hip-hop fans in one room, you get a lot of hoodies.

Starting things off, DJ Timbuck2 opened the night with his signature spinning and Tijuana Panthers brought a certain type of punk style that reminded me I was over 30. I could've done without it, but punk fans might want to check these guys out.

Run the Jewels, featuring EL-P, (a hip-hop artist from Brooklyn known for his lyrical virtuosity) and Killer Mike, the politically inclined Atlanta rapper with an affinity for barbershops, is the new collaborative project of two artists known for their separate styles. For those who remember Killer Mike from the Pitchfork Music Festival last summer, he's good at moving a crowd.

Together, they are crowd pleasers, and thanks to EL-P's ear for production, they are successfully mixing old school and new school hip-hop with a whisper to electronica and dub-step. In other words, something for everyone.

They opened their set with a melodramatic intro, enough to set the tone with anticipation as Killer Mike jumped on the mic, a plea to the eager crowd if they were ready to get wild. The crowd answered back yes, and El-P and Killer gave them what they wanted with their anthem, "Run the Jewels," evoking an otherwise, languid group to throw their hands in the air and start bouncing body parts. Myself included.

The whole album stays in that head bobbing zone and you'll likely walk away feeling like you got a shot of testosterone. Get It has all the trimmings of the roll down the street in your ride summer theme song and DDFH elicits a throwback to the early '90s.

Separately, both artists should be checked out and appreciated, but it is clear with EL-P's lyric slinging prowess and Killer Mike's authoritative stage presence and delivery that Run the Jewels is aiming to be the type of summertime duo that gets people to join in the proclamation that LL Cool J started when he first said, "Throw ya hands in the air, wave them like you just don't care."

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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