Following the success of Killer Mike’s last solo album, 2012’s R.A.P. Music, both the Atlanta rapper and Brooklyn beatsmith/R.A.P. Music collaborator El-P treated Hip Hop fans to a bit of a surprise as they announced their plans to form the rap group now known as Run The Jewels.
This week, the pair released their self-titled debut and also offered a little insight into their group name to Interview Magazine as they shared the inspiration behind the Run The Jewels moniker.
According to Killer Mike, who credited El-P for coming up with the name, Run The Jewels was inspired by a LL Cool J line on “Cheesy Rat Blues.” On the song LL Cool J raps, “Throw your hands in the air / And wave ‘em like you just don’t care / Keep ‘em there / Run the jewels, run the jewels, run the jewels.”
“El came up with the name,” the Atlanta emcee revealed. “When he first said it—not that I didn’t get it; it’s actually an old LL Cool J line, which is dope as fuck—but I wasn’t sure. When I sat down and got out of my own way and allowed myself to marinate on that shit—and I knew what it meant on the streets of New York, on the streets period—I thought that was just the most hardcore shit that could be said, that could be heard and it really exemplified the spirit that I brought into making this record. ‘We’re not second to any rapper or producer. We rival all of your idols and we’re going to spend the next 30-some-odd minutes proving that.’”
El-P also shared his thoughts on the group and album name as he spoke on the nostalgia the music featured on Run The Jewels brings about.
“It was also a nod to the record. That was the era that made me and Mike fall in love with rap music,” said El-P. “For us, this project is about that. This whole project is really about our love for rap music.”
Run The Jewels was released on June 26 via Fool’s Gold Records and is currently available for free download.