Show Review – Run the Jewels In Vancouver “Killer Duo and Friends”

Run the Jewels The unexpected amalgamation of all around hip hop mastermind, El-P from Brooklyn and extraordinary emcee, Killer Mike from Atlanta has taken the game by storm ever since their respective 2012 releases, Cancer 4 Cure and R.A.P. Music. Celebrated by music lovers and raved by critics alike, they have formed a duo under the name, Run the Jewels. This venture not only has proved itself to be a refreshing listen, but also an incredible show displaying their unique form of polarizing chemistry resulting in an all around fun and exciting set. Supporting their free self titled debut, they toured, and came through The Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver along with some friends.

Rocking a huge, full beard, Kool AD was entertaining as ever. Known for his laid back, humorous vibe he was a perfect precursor for the intensity that was to ensue shortly after. His DJ was also a big part of the set as he sequenced the beats live with his MPC while backing Kool on the rhymes as well.

Despot hit the stage hard with his hard, cold delivery, spitting dizzying, but clear and fast-paced rhymes. His impeccable, effortless train-running flow was so consistent, I had to wonder if he’s inhaling, catching his breath at all. Showing off his big jewellery, throwing his hand up accentuating his monstrous delivery, his charisma took over the stage. Despite not having released any albums for the last ten years he’s been rapping in the underground circuit, a lot of people knew the words to his songs word for word, if that isn’t a dedicated fan base, I don’t know what is. To no surprise, but to great anticipation, Killer Mike launched his set with Big Beast. Since it was the first song, the volume was not where it needed to be.

Clearly, the sound engineer was not ready for the entrance of Killer Mike, and the rabid fans that go crazy for him. As the house volume crept up to where it should be the venue was popping off with Killer Mike nailing the coffins of every rapper anyone at the Biltmore has ever heard. He didn’t say or imply such imagery, but the way he was rapping, it was fierce, hungry with a sense of conquer that was impossible to ignore.

El-P brought a couple musicians on tour, which featured a bunch of synthesizers, a keytar, an electric guitar and backing vocals. Opening with Drones Over Brooklyn, the sold out show got even more intense and broke out into a mosh pit frenzy. However, the set was versatile and fun especially when the DJ put on A Tribe Called Quest’s Can I Kick It? and also the part where the keyboard player did a keytar solo. Finally, the duo Run the Jewels took the night over featuring all the musicians, and DJ Trackstar. Seeing these two best friends performing together was like seeing Pimp C and Bun B in their prime. There was not a single person who could’ve asked for more from one night of hip hop. Grab their album free (by signing up) and check out this duo online at and

– Review By Bag

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