The rap duo Run The Jewels is arguably one of the best duos in hip-hop. Along with duos such as Kriss Kross and Rae Sremmurd, Run The Jewels have found their way into the hip-hop history books and, unlike certain acts, are still going to this day.
Hailing from two different cities, the two members of Run The Jewels created a melting pot of sounds that was and is fantastic. With Brooklyn rapper and producer EI-P and Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, the two, together, married the East Coast and Dirty South cultures and, since their inception, have been nothing but praised.
With the duo’s formation beginning around 2011, EI-P and Killer Mike had individually been around for a long time. EI-P had been musically active since the early 1990s and was part of the Brooklyn trio Company Flow.
Killer Mike had also been musically active since the 1990s and similarly found success in 1995 by attending the same school as Big Boi of Outkast. He went on to be featured on their debut album, Stankonia. The rapper also featured on their 2001 single ‘The Whole World’, which went on to win a Grammy award.
In 2014, as a duo, the pair released Run the Jewels 2, an 11-track album featuring the likes of Gangsta Boo and Zack de la Rocha. In the lead-up to the release of this project, the pair interviewed with music publication NME, during which they named some of their favourite rap duos.
Opening up, El-P stated, “EPMD! Maybe they were a trio, but they still fall into the duo category.” Killer Mike proceeded to highlight 8Ball & MJG, calling them “highly underrated.” Following this, El-P asserted, “Mobb Deep have got to be up there! Smoothe da Hustler & Trigga that Gambler.”
Killer Mike listed Nice & Smooth, Poison Clan from Miami and Salt-N-Pepa as other duos that he found highly influential. Speaking about EPMD, El-P divulged, “For me, EPMD were my favourite rap group of all time! Their first four records were some of my favourite records growing up. I don’t know how much they influenced me, but they were raw, gritty, and they were funky and funny, and they also felt dangerous.” You can watch the Run The Jewels interview with NME in the video below.