Though Run The Jewels’ triumphant fourth album RTJ4 was originally meant to arrive today, El-P and Killer Mike decided to drop off the anticipated album a few days early. And while some of the immediate standouts featured brilliant moments of lyrical showmanship, many of the album’s strengths arise during the moments of reflection.
Following the death of George Floyd, murdered at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin, Mike previewed some of his lyrics from “Walking In The Snow.” Though clearly recorded prior to Floyd’s death, the parallels touched upon are eerie in their accuracy. It’s a testament to the vicious cycle that continues to plague members of the black community, and Mike’s declaration of “I Can’t Breathe” remains a powerful reminder of the injustices perpetrated by entitled cops. “And every day on evening news they feed you fear for free, and you so numb you watch the cops choke out a man like me,” he raps. “And ’til my voice goes from a shriek to whisper, “I can’t breathe”, and you sit there in the house on couch and watch it on TV.”
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