Run The Jewels

Back in 2013, friends Michael Render ( Killer Mike) and Jamie Meline (El-P) came together to form one of the most critically acclaimed rap supergroups: Run The Jewels. With both artists having been in the industry for many years before joining forces, they came into Run The Jewels knowing who they were and what they wanted to create. Their albums are a mix of political rhetoric and rap posturing, creating a flawless and in-depth look at how these two think.

Before they were Run the Jewels, they both had very successful careers as both rappers and producers. Killer Mike rose to fame with his feature on Outkast’s ‘The Whole World’ which went on to win a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. He also appeared on Jay Z’s ‘Poppin Tags’ from the Blueprint 2 album. It wasn’t until 2003 that Killer Mike would release his debut album Monster, which produced hits such as Akshon (Yeah!) and A.D.I.D.A.S. Flash forward a few years and Killer Mike has released multiple albums and mixtapes while also being a very outspoken activist, blending his passion for music and social justice on Run The Jewels albums. 

While Killer Mike was working on conquering the rap genre, El-P was working on music of his own. Son of a jazz pianist, El-P has been surrounded by music since he was young, but it wasn’t until he created Company Flow in 1993, at the young age of 18 that he found a suitable outlet for his musical talents. With the release of Funcrusher, the trio quickly became subject to a major label bidding war. After the trio dissolved amicably in 2001, El-P went on to have widespread success with his solo albums Fantastic Damage, I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, and then finally Cancer 4 Cure, where he met Killer Mike and formed Run The Jewels. 

As a duo they have released three albums, all of which are made available as free digital downloads and then made available for sale, with their newest release being a more visual album, diverging from the more audible structure of their previous two albums. Killer Mike and El-P state that Run The Jewels 3 takes a journey throughout the album and showcases how El-P and Killer Mike would create visuals in their head as they were writing these songs. 

It’s not hard to see why this super duo continually wow the music industry and their fans. The dedication and care they put into their music is clear with every album they make and their live show never fails to impress. Run The Jewels are definitely a group to see at Moonrise.  

Fun Facts:

  • Fist & gun icon incorporated into many comic books: Deadpool, Howard the Duck, Black Panther, Dr. Strange

  • Has a remix of their first album called “ Meow the Jewels” which is just their album but with cat noises

  • Hardest for Killer Mike to write: Crown

  • Run The Jewels 3 was recorded in El-P’s studio in New York

  • The duo has an incredible amount of trust in each other: both thought they would be done with the industry after having been it in so many years but once they met they knew they needed to continue.

Iluziver

(Lil Uzi Vert)

At only 22, Lil Uzi Vert has taken the rap scene by storm. Originally from Philly, Uzi was able to circumvent the Philly rap scene, which is typically categorized as a fast and hard hitting rap style (think Meek Mill) and adopted a more relaxed style similar to rappers from the South. He also is attributed with continuing the ‘mumble’ rap style that was championed by Lil Wayne, drawing more and more fans into his captivating persona and style of rap. 

As an artist, Lil Uzi has some of the most impressive stats. Crowned the most followed artist of 2016 on Soundcloud and cultivating millions of followers on Instagram (3.4 million to be exact) only in a few years, Lil Uzi is certainly a product of his generation. Capitalizing on a growing obsession with social media, Lil Uzi uses his social media platforms to connect with his fans while also maintaining a level of mystery. In fact, Lil Uzi attributes Soundcloud and Instagram for much of his fame.

While he may be known for featuring on the hit song Bad and Boujee by Migos, it’s his solo work that is most impressive. Starting in a 2012 video for a song titled Steaktown Anthem, a 17-year-old Lil Uzi established himself as a rapper to watch. Then, in 2016 he released Lil Uzi Vert vs The World which contained the song that would catapult him to superstardom: Money Longer.  Since then he has put out hit after hit; ‘You Was Right’, ‘XO TOUR Lif3’, and ‘Erase Your Social’ solidifying himself as one of the most promising new rap stars.

  • Released a 2016 mixtape with Gucci Mane

  • Got his name from someone stating his rap style as sounding “like a little Uzi

  • Vert came from the word vertical, the direction his career is going

  • Loves to change up his hair color

  • Idolizes: A$AP Rocky

  • He thinks his big break was getting invited to Made in America

Migos

When Donald Glover thanked Migos for making Bad and Boujee, calling it the “Best song ever”, truer words had never been spoken. People could not step into a club, bar, store, or frankly anywhere else without hearing the iconic song played at least once. ‘Raindrop/drop top/Smokin’ on cookie in the hotbox/ Fuckin’ on your bitch she a thot, thot, thot/ Cookin’ up dope in the crockpot (pot)’ would become lyrics everyone sang even if they didn’t really know the words. In other words, Migos were everywhere.

The dynamic trio of relatives (Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff) grew up in the outskirts of Atlanta, teaching themselves how to create beats and write raps that resonated with each other and expressed themselves. Hitting every bar and club imaginable in Atlanta, it wasn’t until their debut single ‘Versace’ that they began to gain traction in bigger places like New York City. After that, it was full steam ahead, quickly propelling Migos to major artists like Drake’s attention.

Then Bad and Boujee hit. Seemingly everywhere overnight, the famous trio exploded onto the top 100 charts, capturing the number one spot. But it wasn’t all fun and games getting the song to where it is. The track was first released back in August of 2016 and then rereleased in October of 2016 as the first single from what would later be ‘Culture’. As it continued to gain traction throughout November and December, producing one of the greatest memes of 2016, it wasn’t until the extraordinary performance in Nigeria that the song began to be covered by media networks. After that, the rest is history as the song would finally reach the top of the Billboard charts in January of 2017 and become one of the greatest songs of all time.

While their music is amazing and their ability to work a crowd is phenomenal, it’s also important to note that when the crowd hears a Migos song, it is a predominantly Migos song. They write, produce, engineer, mix and master their album, wanting to be involved in all aspects of the creative process. Everything they put their name on is 100% them and with the release of their 2017 album, ‘Culture’, they wanted to make sure fans, and music industry people alike, know who they are as artists. Offset stated that ‘Culture’ is “about the culture of hip-hop music. It’s time to let the culture be known. It’s time to claim it. And it’s time to claim that we are the Migos, and for people to understand that this is what we did.” They are some of the most talented men in hip-hop right now and we can’t wait to see them at Moonrise.

  • Their names:

  •             Quavo: Quavrious Marshall

  •             Offset: Kiari Kendrell Cephus

  •             Takeoff: Kirshnik Ball

  • Created the “dab” dance move

  • What they call their music: “I feel our music is like, dark. Dark grime but more hype and energetic. It brings happiness along with attitude. I wouldn’t consider it as punk. We gotta call it something else. Trap funk.” – Quavo

  • Both Offset and Quavo used to play football in high school, Quavo was the quarterback

  • Before they decided on the name Migos they were called Polo Club

  • Offset wrote Bad and Boujee in his basement studio

  • Number of mixtapes they have dropped since 2011: 15

 

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