**** I need to stop being skeptical when I see a rap album with such a short length, because this is really cool. Completely different to 'Hope In Dirt City' in that way but I like it. Pretty decent album.
***** I basically only came across this album via word of mouth, but it also helps that they were giving away the album for free, which evidently is a great way to get someone like me to pay attention. I actually wonder what it would be like if I hadn't heard them then, and only did when I caught the extra media attention they'd gotten for their next album. Just for that it makes me happy to feel like I caught on early, as long as you ignore the dozens of albums they'd worked on prior, but whatever.
This came at the right time for me though. As I was just starting to appreciate hip-hop on an LP format, this really solidified itself as a standout. I guess it helps that it's not too long, so it doesn't suffer badly from filler.
I think in general what makes this a success is just how good Killer Mike & El-P's chemistry is. They'd only worked together on one album before (Killer Mike's also rather good "R.A.P. Music", but here they work so well together you'd think it had been in place for longer. Even though it's usually a one verse each affair, you'll find them trading lines back and forth here and there (it's great on "A Christmas F**king Miracle") and just generally playing off the same energy.
I will say though as a fan, that this does have its setbacks. Maybe the problem is that "Run The Jewels 2" has since come out, and I'm finding myself comparing this to that, but I feel the rhymes could be tighter, and there perhaps aren't quite enough highlights to fully satisfy me. But still, they were onto something with this album, which would come to show a year later... 4.8