‘Run The Jewels 3′ 101: A Social Uprising Syllabus


A historically uncompromising and oppressive government is what motivates hip-hop duo Run the Jewels to serve as voices of the people in these hip-hop streets. Virgin ears and uninformed minds may think that Killer Mike and El-P’s rebellious microphone waxing is anti-government, but that’s not the case at all, so stop bugging. You see, one half of RTJ, Killer Mike, enthusiastically endorsed and advocated Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential run. The cogent and fiery Killer Mike, and his intriguing and humorous potna, El-P, are into putting the U.S. on blast with the hopes of waking up the dead.

READ: V Books: A Beginner’s #FeminismSyllabus

With the third installment of their self-titled effort, Killer and P continue to vent their frustrations in a disruptive, up-to-date and sauced language that the formally educated or even high school dropouts can understand. RTJ’s rage against the machine comes from an honest place, a space of frustration with the fact that it’s 2017 and minorities still have to protest for their humanity. In fact, just recently, Donald Trump signed an executive order banning the refugee program and temporarily hindering Muslims from seven countries—Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Syria and Libya—from entering the United States out fear of terrorism. This insane executive decision sparked protests at airports in New York City, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco, among others.

READ: V Books: Prof. Robyn Spencer Discusses Her New Book, ‘The Revolution Has Come’

So, the #Woke and uncooperative raps of Brooklyn’s El-P and Atlanta’s Killer Mike are very much needed. RTJ 3 does a few things. First, the project raises awareness to a political system that opposes minorities. Secondly, RTJ offers a call-to-action that resonates with today’s bold and fearless Millennials. Lastly, the black-and-white partners-in-rhyme satisfy that rough and raw nostalgic Golden Era of lyricism. Put plainly, these dudes can spit. Since there are vital threads of information throughout the album, VIBE took a closer look at some lyrics on RTJ 3 and connected their rhymes to some important books so you can brush up on your knowledge of social movements and the chess moves of the U.S. government.