Run the Jewels

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Run the Jewels
Run The Jewels at Treefort Music Festival.jpg
Killer Mike (left) and El-P (right) in March 2014
Background information
Also known as RTJ
Years active 2013–present
Associated acts
Website Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels, also known by the initialism RTJ, is an American hip hop duo consisting of rapper/producer El-P and rapper Killer Mike.[1][2][3][4][5][6] They released their acclaimed debut studio album, Run the Jewels, as a free digital download in 2013. This was followed by Run the Jewels 2 in 2014, which was also praised by critics. Their critically acclaimed third album, Run the Jewels 3, was released digitally in December 2016 with a physical release the following month.[7]


El-P (left) and Killer Mike (right) with Zack de la Rocha at the 2015 Coachella Festival

Killer Mike was first introduced to El-P by Cartoon Network executive Jason DeMarco in 2011.[8] El-P produced Mike's 2012 album R.A.P. Music, which was soon followed by Mike's appearance on the track "Tougher Colder Killer" from El-P's 2012 album Cancer 4 Cure. When R.A.P. Music and Cancer 4 Cure were released within weeks of each other, the two rappers decided to tour together. The success of the tour eventually led to the decision to form the supergroup Run the Jewels.[3][9] The duo took their name from the lyrics of an LL Cool J song.[10]

On June 26, 2013, Run the Jewels released their self-titled debut, Run The Jewels, on Fool's Gold Records as a free digital download.[11]

Their follow-up record, Run The Jewels 2, was released through Mass Appeal Records on October 24, 2014.[12] A light-hearted remix album composed entirely of cat sounds titled Meow the Jewels was released on September 25, 2015.[13] It features guest production from the likes of Prince Paul, Boots, Geoff Barrow, Zola Jesus, The Alchemist, Just Blaze and others.[14] Proceeds from the album will go entirely to charity.[15] They also announced the release of a traditional remix album of Run the Jewels 2, to be released via Fool's Gold Records in 2015.[16]

Killer Mike revealed that the duo would begin work on Run the Jewels 3 in January 2015.[17] Run the Jewels released an exclusive 12-inch on April 18, 2015 in conjunction with Record Store Day. The record included a new track ("Bust No Moves" feat. SL Jones) in addition to three previously-released songs.[18]

The duo has released a free track as part of the yearly Adult Swim Singles Program every year since the 2013 edition, when they released their debut single, "36" Chain", through it. The 2014 edition saw the release of the lead single from Run the Jewels 2, "Oh My Darling (Don't Cry)", while the non-album single "Rubble Kings (Dynamite on the Street)" was released in 2015. In 2016, the program was once again used to release "Talk to Me" from Run the Jewels 3.[19]

Run the Jewels supported Jack White on January 30, 2015 at Madison Square Garden.[20] In early 2015, it was announced that the band would perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April and the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in June. In addition to these larger festivals, RTJ also announced performances at the Boston Calling Music Festival, the Big Guava Music Festival, the Pitchfork Music Festival, the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and the Music Midtown Festival in Atlanta, Georgia; Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker was slated to join them.[21] Trackstar the DJ served as Run the Jewels' DJ during their RTJ2 tour.[22]

Run the Jewels 3 was digitally released on December 24, 2016,[23] three weeks prior to its previously announced release date of January 13, 2017.[24] Physical release of the album appeared on January 13 in the United States and January 20 elsewhere.[23][7]

In June 2017, the track "Legend Has It" from Run the Jewels 3 was featured in the teaser trailer for Marvel's Black Panther during Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals, which was viewed 89 million times in 24 hours.[25][26] Multiple Run the Jewels tracks were also featured in the 2017 action film Baby Driver, which also featured a cameo by Killer Mike. In September 2017, Run the Jewels released "Mean Demeanor", a track created for the football video game FIFA 18.

In March 2018, Adult Swim released a Rick and Morty / Run The Jewels crossover video of "Oh Mama"[27]. The music was a remix of Oh Mama from Run the Jewels 3 (track 12) accompanied by sound effects from the Rick and Morty short. The effort was directed by Juan Meza-León, prior to Run the Jewels headlining the 2018 Adult Swim Festival on Sunday October 7, 2018.[28][29]


As part of the promotion for Run the Jewels 2, the duo started a "Tag the Jewels" movement encouraging graffiti artists from around the world to tag their rendition of the duo's signature "fist and gun" hand gesture, as featured on all of their album covers. 30 artists were invited to participate in the movement, creating large murals on six continents.[30][31]

The same "fist and gun" gesture was featured on the covers of several Marvel comic books since 2015. Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso was the driving force behind the gesture's incorporation into variant covers for Deadpool #45, Howard the Duck #2, Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #1,[32][33] Black Panther #2, Cage #1 and Doctor Strange/Punisher: Magic Bullets #1 variant.


Studio albums

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions



Run the Jewels
  • Released: June 26, 2013
  • Label: Fool's Gold (Worldwide), Big Dada (EU)
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
27 21
Run the Jewels 2
  • Released: October 24, 2014
  • Label: Mass Appeal, RED
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download, cassette[44]
50 9 6 141
Run the Jewels 3
  • Released: December 24, 2016[23]
  • Label: Run the Jewels, Inc.
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download, cassette
13 1 1 36 32 34 47 49 24 38
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Remix albums

List of remix albums, with year released
Title Album details
Meow the Jewels
  • Released: September 25, 2015
  • Label: Mass Appeal, RED
  • Formats: LP, digital download


List of singles, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
36" Chain[45] 2013 Adult Swim Singles Program 2013 / Run the Jewels
"Blockbuster Night, Pt. 1"[46] 2014 Run the Jewels 2
"Oh My Darling Don't Cry"[47] Adult Swim Singles Program 2014 / Run the Jewels 2
"Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)"
(featuring Zack de la Rocha)
Run the Jewels 2
"Bust No Moves"
(featuring Cuz)
2015 Non-album track
"Rubble Kings (Dynamite On the Street)" Adult Swim Singles Program 2015 / Rubble Kings: The Album
"Talk to Me"[48] 2016 Adult Swim Singles Program 2016 / Run the Jewels 3
(featuring Boots)
Run the Jewels 3
"Legend Has It"[50]
"Mean Demeanor[51] 2017 FIFA 18 Soundtrack
"Kill Your Masters"[52] 2018 Run the Jewels 3

As featured artist

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Heart Is Full" (Remix)
(Miike Snow featuring Run the Jewels)
2016 iii
"Nobody Speak"
(DJ Shadow featuring Run the Jewels)
The Mountain Will Fall
"Chase Me"
(Danger Mouse featuring Run the Jewels and Big Boi)
2017 Baby Driver Soundtrack
"Supercut" (El-P Remix)
(Lorde featuring Run the Jewels)
2018 [A] Non-album track
  1. ^ "Supercut" (El-P Remix) did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number nine on the NZ Heatseeker Singles Chart.[53]



Awards & nominations

Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards is an annual awards ceremony presented by The Recording Academy. Run The Jewels has been nominated for one award.

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref.
2018 "Chase Me" (Danger Mouse Featuring Run The Jewels & Big Boi) Best Rap Song Nominated [56]

MTV Video Music Awards

The Video Music Awards (commonly abbreviated as the VMAs) is an awards show presented by MTV to honor the best in the music video medium.

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref.
2017 "Nobody Speak" (with DJ Shadow) Best Cinematography Nominated [57]

UK Music Video Awards

The UK Music Video Awards is an annual celebration of creativity, technical excellence and innovation in music video and moving image for music. Run The Jewels have won two awards from six nominations.

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref.
2014 A Christmas F*cking Miracle Best Urban Video – Budget Nominated [58]
2015 Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck) (feat Zack de la Rocha) Best Urban Video-International Nominated
Lie, Cheat, Steal Best Urban Video – Budget Nominated
Early Best Lyric Video Nominated
2016 Love Again (with Gangsta Boo) Best Urban Video-International Won
Best Editing in a Video Won

NME Awards

The NME Awards is an annual music awards show in the United Kingdom, founded by the music magazine, NME (New Musical Express) . Run The Jewels have received three nominations (Best Album in 2015, and Best Festival Band and Best International Band in 2016) and won two awards (Best Festival Band and Best International Band in 2016).

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref.
2016 Run The Jewels Best International Band Won [59]

A2IM Libera Awards

The A2IM Libera Awards is an annual music awards show created by the American Association of Independent Music. Run The Jewels have won five awards from eleven nominations.

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref.
2015 Meow the Jewels / Tag the Jewels Marketing Genius Award Won [60]
Run The Jewels Hardest Working Artist of the Year Nominated
Run the Jewels 2 Groundbreaking Album of the Year Won
Album of the Year Nominated
2016 Run The Jewels Best Live Act Nominated
Meow The Jewels Creative Packaging Nominated
#12DaysofRTJ Marketing Genius Award Won
Close Your Eyes (and Count to F*ck) Video of the Year Won
2017 Run the Jewels 3 Album of the Year Nominated
Best Rap/Hip-Hop Album Won
Run The Jewels Best Live Act Nominated


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  12. ^ Evan Minsker (21 August 2014). "El-P and Killer Mike Announce Run The Jewels' New Album RTJ2, Share "Blockbuster Night"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "Run the Jewels Drop Meow the Jewels". Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  14. ^ thereallyrealelp. "sorry I meant HERE are your meow the jewels producers". Instagram. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
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  17. ^ Chris DeVille (December 11, 2014). "Work On Run The Jewels 3 Begins Next Month". Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  18. ^ Ryan Middleton (April 19, 2015). "Run The Jewels Shares 'Bust No Moves' As Record Store Day Exclusive". Music Times. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Adult Swim Singles". Retrieved November 2, 2016. 
  20. ^ Luke Morgan Britton (January 11, 2015). "Run The Jewels to support Jack White at Madison Square Garden gig". NME. Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  21. ^ Ollman, Jonah. "Boston Calling Announces May 2015 Lineup". Sound of Boston. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  22. ^ Nelson Liu (October 31, 2014). "Premiere: Trackstar the DJ's "RTJ2 Tour Mix"". Mass Appeal. Retrieved May 23, 2015. 
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  24. ^ Sodomsky, Sam (December 25, 2016). "Run the Jewels Release RTJ3: Listen". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved December 28, 2016. 
  25. ^ Kit, Borys (June 12, 2017). "'Black Panther' Teaser Trailer Racks Up 89M Views in First 24 Hours (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on June 13, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2017. 
  26. ^ Woerner, Meredith (June 9, 2017). "First 'Black Panther' trailer brings Wakanda (and Run the Jewels) to the Marvel Cinematic Universe". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Rick and Morty x Run The Jewels: Oh Mama". YouTube. June 18, 2018. 
  28. ^ "Adult Swim Fetival". Adult Swim Festival. June 18, 2018. 
  29. ^ "Watch 'Rick and Morty' Slay Aliens in Run the Jewels' 'Oh Mama' Video". Rolling Stone. June 18, 2018. 
  30. ^ Andrew LaSane (27 October 2014). "Run the Jewels Launches a Global "Tag the Jewels" Street Art Project". Complex. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  31. ^ "Tag the Jewels — About". Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  32. ^ Christopher R. Weingarten (16 January 2015). "See Marvel Comics' Tribute to Run the Jewels". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  33. ^ "Marvel release third comic with Run The Jewels cover". Fact Magazine. 21 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
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  35. ^ "Run the Jewels - Chart History: Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 21, 2016. 
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  38. ^ "Discografie Run The Jewels". Hung Medien. 
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  40. ^ "Irish charts run the jewels". Irish Charts. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
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  44. ^ Rettig, James (October 14, 2015). "Urban Outfitters Launches Cassette Program With Retro Players, Exclusive Run The Jewels & Halsey Tapes". Stereogum. Retrieved December 23, 2015. 
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  46. ^ "iTunes - Music - Blockbuster Night, Pt. 1 - Single by Run The Jewels". iTunes. Archived from the original on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  47. ^ "iTunes - Music - Oh My Darling Don't Cry - Single by Run The Jewels". iTunes. Archived from the original on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  48. ^ "Talk to Me - Single by Run The Jewels on Apple Music". 2016-11-04. Retrieved 2017-01-13. 
  49. ^ "2100 (feat. BOOTS) by Run The Jewels on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  50. ^ "Legend Has It - Single by Run The Jewels on Apple Music". 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2017-01-13. 
  51. ^ Yoo, Noah. "Listen to Run the Jewels' New Song "Mean Demeanor" | Pitchfork". Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  52. ^ Kill Your Masters - Single by Run The Jewels, 2018-01-20, retrieved 2018-06-20 
  53. ^ "NZ Heatseeker Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018. 
  54. ^ Torres, Eric (May 27, 2015). "Run the Jewels Announce Jewel Runner Fall Tour With Incredible Poster". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 29, 2017. 
  55. ^ Havens, Lyndsey (November 1, 2016). "Run the Jewels Announce 'Run The World' 2017 Tour". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2017. 
  56. ^ "Grammys 2018 Winners: The Complete List". Billboard. January 28, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2018. 
  57. ^ "MTV VMAs 2017: The Full Nominations List". Pitchfork. July 25, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017. 
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  59. ^ "NME Awards 2016 winners". NME Awards. February 17, 2016. Retrieved November 20, 2017. 
  60. ^ "A2IM Libera Awards past winners". A2IM Awards. Retrieved November 21, 2017. 

External links

  • Run the Jewels official website
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