The hottest name in rap right now is Run The Jewels, and tonight Des Moines got a heavy dose of the duo’s fun-loving music. The only other time I saw them play was in a tiny venue for a free show put on by Fader. It was loud and fast and over too fast, but the feeling of being in the presence of a group about to become huge was palpable. Not long after RTJ2 came out and propelled them to superstardom.
There’s no sense of ego or superiority from El-P or Killer Mike on stage. They seem like they’re just two dudes who really love what they do and have a good time performing for a crowd. I wasn’t sure if the intensity would be as high with so many more people in the crowd, but it might have been even higher with 10 or 15,000 people screaming the lyrics to “Blockbuster Night” surrounding me.
Saturday was definitely the high-octane day at 80/35. After great sets by Brazilian 2wins and Christopher The Conquered, I would have gladly taken a break to catch my breath. Run The Jewels would have none of that, instead upping the ante even higher. They even brought a fan on stage to rock with them (a young “Jake” I’m told). The set was a candle burning on both ends that wound up exploding in the middle.