- Summary: Released a few days early (for free on their website), the fourth full-length studio album for the rap duo features guest appearances from 2 Chainz, Zack de la Rocha, DJ Premier, Josh Homme, Greg Nice, Mavis Staples, and Pharrell Williams.
- Record Label: BMG
- Genre(s): Rap
- More Details and Credits »
Positive: 26 out of 26
Mixed: 0 out of 26
Negative: 0 out of 26
Jun 3, 2020Above all, “RTJ4” is a triumph of all sorts of unexpected syntheses, seamlessly uniting disparate moods, styles and eras. ... If Killer Mike and El-P haven’t yet fully ascended to that most rarefied plane of telepathically attuned hip-hop partnerships — Q-Tip and Phife, Prodigy and Havoc, Erick and Parrish — they’ve come extraordinarily close.
Jun 8, 2020They treat hip-hop as a universal and political language that transcends identity, relying on the mechanics of the genre as a vehicle to tell meaningful stories, even if it means driving that vehicle directly into the building. RTJ4 is the perfect soundtrack to the revolution, especially the one not televised.
Q MagazineJun 30, 2020This is the sound of RTJ staking their claim as one of the all-time great hip-hop duos. [Aug 2020, p.112]
Jun 9, 2020The result is hardly dry or academic: The palpable anger coursing through tracks like “Yankee and the Brave” and “JU$T” — the latter featuring Pharrell Williams and Rage Against the Machine’s Zack de la Rocha — feels as cleansing as an acid bath. And fury isn’t the only sensation the group articulates on its most emotionally complex album so far.
The WireJul 10, 2020It’s a strange brew, some distance from the monumental party music that has tended to characterise the duo’s three previous albums. [Jul 2020, p.50]
Jun 3, 2020"And everyday on evening news they feed you fear for free
And you so numb you watch the cops choke out a man like me
And 'til my voice goes"And everyday on evening news they feed you fear for free
And you so numb you watch the cops choke out a man like me
And 'til my voice goes from a shriek to whisper, 'I can't breathe'"… Expand
Jun 4, 2020El-ps production has gotten god level and the way he weaves aggression in his beats is something only a veteran can do. lyrically there isn’tEl-ps production has gotten god level and the way he weaves aggression in his beats is something only a veteran can do. lyrically there isn’t a verse anywhere besides maybe 2 chains verse . Plus killer mike mentions jimmy savile and high level pedophiles in power just makes this feel like they’re holding no punches and going out on their ships… Expand
Dec 4, 2020I didn't know about Run The Jewels until like 2017 which was the same year i found out about Gorillaz the animated band but ever since thenI didn't know about Run The Jewels until like 2017 which was the same year i found out about Gorillaz the animated band but ever since then I've been listening to Run The Jewels and when rtj4 came out i loved it from the gritty beats to the fantastic meaningful lyrics. It was one of my favorite albums of 2020 and still is in my Top 10 along with No pressure by Logic, After Hours by The Weeknd, Song Machine by Gorillaz and Savage Mode 2 by 21 Savage and Metro Boomin.… Expand
Jun 4, 2020Returning from a break with this level of quality music is astounding. Run The Jewels reminds the world that their finger on the pulse ofReturning from a break with this level of quality music is astounding. Run The Jewels reminds the world that their finger on the pulse of society is still unrivaled.… Expand
Dec 10, 20209.6/12
The opening track contains the same energy as "Yeezus" by Kayne West. RTJ is saying that they're angry and they have **** to say.9.6/12
The opening track contains the same energy as "Yeezus" by Kayne West. RTJ is saying that they're angry and they have **** to say. Their albums are typically vulgar and political and this one puts that in your face. And what a better time than 2020 with the civil rights movements and Killer Mike's speech on it.
"Ooh La La" is such a hit. "Legend Has It" was a favorite of mine but this one is up there with my favorites. It's one of those songs that makes you feel badass and makes you want to move. The production is perfect, the lyrics are intelligent, and the refrain is catchy.
"Pulling the Pin" is great and memorable with the legendary Mavis Staples and Josh Homme (of Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures). It's like a QOTSA song with Staples' vocals and RTJ's verses. It's tremendous.
"Ju$t" is an incredible song as well. It is angry and makes a good point in our current racial climate. Systemic racism is embedded in our culture and racist people are honored. "Just like the slave masters on your dollars." We honor these people and put them on paper money or as logos on food or as statues or street names. Yet, they owned human beings and played a role in oppressing BIPOC. It may be "inconsequential", but we need a new slate and some changes.
The biggest problem this album has is its forgettable tracks. After several listens, a lot of the tracks meld into one and don't stand out too well.
ALBUM ARTWORK: Their album names and covers are quite simple. They're always the same thing. RTJ# and their symbol animated differently. But, that's what it is and it works for them. Like "Fetch the Bolt Cutters", the color scheme here is black, gold, and purple (or maybe more pink). It feels powerful and bold. This may be the color scheme of the year. It really works.
Artwork rating: 9/12… Expand
Published: November 30, 2020Over the next month, we'll be collecting year-end top 10 album lists from over 200 music critics, publications, record stores, and other sources. Find all of those individual lists and 2020's consensus rankings inside.
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