RTJ Let the Cat out of the Bag

Photo by Timothy Saccenti
Photo by Timothy Saccenti

Winners of WRVU’s 2014 Album of the Year Contest, rap duo Run the Jewels has been no stranger to critical acclaim since the release of Run the Jewels 2 last year. Killer Mike and El-P have not dropped any new material since then, but are set to release a remix album sometime in September. Meow the Jewels, the idiosyncratic remix of Run the Jewels 2 fans have been waiting months to listen to, will feature the duo rapping their lyrics over cat noises. Just this week, Run the Jewels gave a little sneak-peak into the album with “Oh My Darling Don’t Meow”, a play on “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”.

With lyrics of equal parts introspection and over-the-top vulgarity, Killer Mike and El-P have resonated with audiences with an underground-rap style that maintains a level of accessibility to an audience beyond just hip-hop fans. This mass appeal was on display last year, when a Kickstarter campaign raised $45,000 to fund this album. Starting off as a joke pre-order package by Killer Mike and El-P on the Run the Jewels website, Meow the Jewels took a life of it’s own and now is a legitimate project featuring a host of producers (Massive Attack, Boots, the Alchemist, Dan the Automator, Zola Jesus, Just Blaze, Baauer, Geoff Barrow) and a small army of cats. El-P and Killer Mike have pledged that 100% of the proceeds will go to the victims of police brutality—a kind of social consciousness that isn’t anything new for the duo.

“Oh My Darling Don’t Meow” features a variety of cat sounds including jungle cat growls, the yelps of rabies stricken alley-cats, and annoying housecats that won’t shut-up. The beat to this song does not have that throbbing, deep-space bassline of the original and it feels more stripped back. The verses are delivered with the same punch as in the real album, so other than a character named Justin getting mauled by a mob of cats in the middle of it, this song can almost pass as a serious track.

Earlier this summer, Run the Jewels released “Meowrly”, a play on “Early”.

The album was even the subject of this sketch from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Finally, for those of you who were thinking about this the whole article:

Run the Jewels will be coming by to Nashville again October 5th at Marathon Meowsic Works. (hey, I’m just keeping a consistent theme ok ).