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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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Tuesday, April 23

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« Courtney Barnett Gets Gritty @ Schubas, 7/30 Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - August 2014 »

Lollapalooza Tue Aug 05 2014

Run the Jewels are a Job Well Done at Double Door 08/02


As somewhat dated as this reference is becoming, Run the Jewels are the anti-Watch the Throne; two anarchist leaning savage bullies who'd gleefully kick in the windows of mansions only to break in and steal the Basquiat paintings belonging to rapper millionaires.

El-P and Killer Mike have have been doing their own things for awhile now. El-P ran the much respected alt rap label, Definitive Jux, before deciding to pursue a solo career. Killer Mike was a student of Outkast as well as a member of Atlanta's Dungeon Family. Killer Mike guest starred on El-P's latest album, Cancer 4 Cure for the single "Tougher Colder Killer." They realized they had chemistry and kept the partnership going. In 2013, they released their debut mixtape as a collective, the self titled Run the Jewels.

What has always struck me about Killer Mike is his presence, both physically and on the microphone. I was in high school when Stankonia came out. I was catching a ride to campus in my friend's car and he had the album in his CD player. I remember the subtle fear and intimidation I felt when I was introduced to Killer Mike on "Snappin & Trappin" and thinking "well...this is a man not be trifled with" to myself as I smoked Newport 100s I had no business having.

This presence was clearly present during Saturday's sold out Lollapalooza afterparty at Double Door. Anticipation was built to a fever pitch as Run the Jewels came on stage to Queen's "We Are the Champions." Things quickly escalated as Killer Mike pranced around stage with his large and menacing frame while boasting to lesser rappers in his thunderous cadence that "he's like Tyson in the 80s that he'll punch your lights out and like Tyson in the 90s that if he loses he'll take a bite out." El-P, on the other hand, was charismatically paranoid; rapping about his perceived absurdities of modern life while leaving the listeners to determine for themselves if what they've heard is the ranting of a madman or a sane man.

The set itself was everything I've come to expect from the duo after seeing them at last year's Pitchfork Festival. They played most of the mixtape as well as a few things from El-P's and Killer Mike's respective solo albums. They ended their set with a preview from their upcoming album, performing a song called "Blockbuster Night" which seems to be more of the same high energy one-upmanship bravado that has become their signature.

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pg / August 5, 2014 6:58 PM

Just because it's free doesn't mean it's a mixtape. Album of the year, any year.

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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.

Read this feature »


  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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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

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