Killer Mike has largely been on a roll since 2008's "I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind 2", releasing three straight excellent albums, including "Pl3dge", and "Rap Music". Speaking of "Rap Music", that was a collaboration album which was fully produced by El-P (one of 2012's best albums), and that's what we have here. After their critically acclaimed album, they're returning this year, this time in the form of a "free album", in which they'll also be going by the album title's name as their duo name. Interesting.
All songs produced by El-P
1. Run The Jewels
I really like this opener. It does set the tone for the album in a good way, and you definitely cannot mistake any other rapper for Killer Mike. El-P does his thing as well. 4 out of 5
2. Banana Clipper (featuring Big Boi)
This is pretty tight right here. I'm really feeling the back and forth verses between Mike and El-P, and Outkast's Big Boi delivers a very good verse of his own. 4 out of 5
3. 36" Chain
This one right here definitely did not feel like it was 2:52, but it's still good nonetheless. Thus far the album seems like it's on an experimental vibe, but make no mistake about it, they're still bringing the lyrics. 3.5 out of 5
"Do dope, f*** hope", straight from Mike himself. I can listen to this and tell they're not advocating "do drugs", but if you listen, they're on something else here. You may have to take your time with this one. 3.5 out of 5
5. Sea Legs
Oh wow. Well, I'll put it this way. Odd song title aside, I really like how they both flow on this beat and it's dope. 3.5 out of 5
6. Job Well Done (featuring Until The Ribbon Breaks)
I'm not quite sure what to say about this one, other than the song title leading you to believe you're getting one thing, but getting something totally different in the process. And this production is taking a very experimental turn in many ways. 3 out of 5
7. No Come Down
The beat was ok, but the hook? Forgettable to say the very least. I get what they were trying to aim for with this song (I think), but overall, not much more to say. 2.5 out of 5
8. Get It
We get our first apply titled song on the album, and after the previous two songs, it's a step up. 3.5 out of 5
9. Twin Hype (featuring Prince Paul as Chest Rockwell)
I could've done without the "words" from Prince Paul with all due respect, but when it comes to this song, I mean it's good, but that's all I can say. 3 out of 5
10. A Christmas Fucking Miracle
I like the flow on this one, but man, what the hell is up with the song title (and others on this album)?
You know, I don't mean to be so critical, mainly because I'm a fan of Killer Mike (El-P's production is not bad either), but one year after the excellent "Rap Music" album, I have to ask what were they aiming for with this album? I mean NO disrespect here, but I'm not sure what to make of it after listening to it. The title track, "Banana Clippers", and "36" Chain" were the only three songs that really caught my ears, but that's about it unfortunately. If I'm underrating anything, feel free to tell me, but I honestly cannot see a high rating for this album, a free one nonetheless. In the meantime, I'll wait for "I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind IV" and "Rap Music 2".
Oh yeah, probably 3 stars for this.
(Updated rating: 4 stars)
(Updated rating: 4 stars)