Run the Jewels hit the stage — as is now customary for the duo consisting of Killer Mike and El-P — to Queen‘s “We Are the Champions,” a celebratory anthem that the two biggest comedians in hip-hop have made their own over the past few years. But it was especially appropriate given that they were taking the main stage of Meadows Festival in Queens, in El’s home town of New York City.
Without a break — do RTJ ever take a break? — they ripped into “Run The Jewels” and “Talk To Me,” with the bass so loud and heavy that the crowd could feel it not only in their chest, but in their nose. “Legend Has It” had the crowd uproarious, and El and Mike in jubilant moods.
Mike took a moment to shout out Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, who was in the crowd, before El shouted out his mom, who was also in attendance. “I told her we were opening for JAY-Z, so she came,” he said as the crowd laughed. Then they ripped into “Blockbuster Night Part 1,” one of the duo’s early fan favorites, as the crowd went ballistic.
“Oh My Darling Don’t Cry” and “Stay Gold,” from their second and third albums, respectively, followed, with the two then falling into a familiar stand up-type routine. El said he was going to quit Run the Jewels after the next song (which would be “Panther Like a Panther”) in order to become a spoken word poet, with Mike bantering along.
“This is a romantic song that we came up with a couple years ago for an album called Run The Jewels 2,” El then said, before the duo welcomed Three 6 Mafia‘s Gangsta Boo to the stage for a run through their raunchy banger “Love Again.” And Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine fame emerged for another fan favorite, “Close Your Eyes (And Count to F–k)” before they ended with the RTJ 3 cut “Down,” with final guest Joi.