The dynamic duo of Killer Mike and El-P took to the Yonge Dundas Square stage like a missile; They were unstoppable from the second they walked on. This rap pairing, known as Run the Jewels, may only have one album released (with a part 2 on its way very soon, as they both assured us during their set), but their performing felt as though they have been together for decades. They have indeed worked together before, which may be why Run the Jewels felt so natural to make in the first place. It definitely shows on stage with such a contagious chemistry between the two that it leaked into the crowd and we were smiling as widely as Killer Mike. The banter was fun and felt fairly different, as it was both serious and funny just like their music. We were advised to wear chains around our necks, even if they are hidden underneath our shirts, to remind ourselves that we are special even if others can’t see it right away. That kind of tongue-in-cheek response to typical rap culture mixed with honest advice is what lets us know that Killer Mike and El-P are really informed with how the music industry currently is.
The music itself was as atmospheric and bass heavy as it is on album. The textures within El-P’s production correlated nicely with the smoke machine and lighting set up on stage. While the discussions with the crowd may have been silly (such as El-P’s admittedly horrible joke leading up to the song Get It of which he apologized for), the music itself was no laughing matter (Get It was performed with such energy as a result). Both Killer Mike and El-P crisscrossed on the stage, pacing back and forth like a whirling tornado. They had the time of their lives on stage, truly feeling like the best of friends doing what they love that very second. They both sent out their lyrics like hot cakes with such speed and proficiency that their goofiness was all the more startling. These two are clearly on top of their game, and anyone in the audience, diehard fan or not, had to have been bitten by the happiness bug. If not, you know who may be the biggest party poopers in Toronto.