Run The Jewels stopped by The Tonight Show with Stephen Colbert this week to perform “A Few Words For The Firing Squad” from RTJ4.
Bolstered by a soulful saxophone performance by Cochemea Gastelum and DJ Trackstar, Killer Mike and El-P sailed through their verses on Wednesday (August 10) standing in a cloud of fog — albeit without the cuss words.
Mike’s verse, in particular, had an emotional air due to the mention of his late mother.
“It’d be a lie if I told you that I ever disdained the fortune and fame,” he rapped. “But the presence of the pleasure never abstained me from any of the pain/ When my mother transitioned to another plane, I was sitting on a plane/ Tellin’ her to hold on, and she tried hard, but she just couldn’t hang.”
The Colbert performance caps a busy few months for Killer Mike. In July, Mike starred in a campaign for the Cadillac Escalade V, which he told HipHopDX was a “no-brainer.”
Less than 24 hours later, on July 4, he premiered his first solo track in 10 years. Titled “Run,” the song features an intro from Dave Chappelle and some bars from Young Thug. Speaking to DX, Mike explained the significance of dropping it on Independence Day.
“The Fourth of July celebrates the founding of this Republic and the rejection of British tyranny through taxation,” he said at the time. “And the first person to die in the name of this great Republic was a man named Crispus Attucks, who was a son of an African father and a native mother, which by the one drop rule makes him a Black man.
“The first person to die on the behalf of America was a free Black man. True history is Crispus Attucks died for this country first. True history is if it had not been for cheap and free labor in the South, this country would not have become an economic dominator on the world stage in only 246 years. I wanted to make sure that was known on the day we celebrate this Republic.”
Run The Jewels have already started working on Run The Jewels 5, which Mike confirmed during the interview. RTJ4 served as the duo’s highest-charting album to date, landing at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 upon its June 2020 arrival.