(Image courtesy of the official Run the Jewels website.)
“Crown” is one of the more interesting singles to pop out from 2015, and it’s also one of the more compelling from hip hop and music in general. Run the Jewels were a fantastic duo already taking the music world by storm with their debut, and their second release only confirmed the serious political fury they present with “Crown.”
I don’t think anyone would have expected a track like this from El-P and Killer Mike. While their respective discographies are packed with classic tracks, I think “Crown” is the best of both their careers, especially for El-P. Diane Coffee’s contributions are stellar as the supporting vocals. The beat production is sly in its complexity, with waves of synth fragments, and the minor piano interlude that follows with a fizzling guitar and showering gunfire creates the most solid, groove-driven melody ripe for the material the MC’s rap.
Being the most personal and emotional from Killer Mike, he speaks of his drug-dealing days when he sold cocaine to a pregnant woman whom he asks forgiveness. El-P however, drops his most complex and emotive verse in his career. Describing and detailing the dehumanization of the military industrial complex and any other power seeking strength for the violence. Paired with Killer Mike’s chorus, both narratives are tied together for a dark conclusion.
“Crown” is one of the most poignant and shocking songs one will hear this year, and it’s an emotional roller coaster I would recommend for anyone who hasn’t listened to Run the Jewels and for any fan who should recheck the narratives presented.
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