Rap duo Run the Jewels were set to drop their fourth highly anticipated album on June 5th, but in classic Killer Mike and EL-P style, the pair said, “F*@k it, why wait?” and released the record two days early… for free. “The world is infested with bullsh*t so here’s something raw to listen to while you deal with it all,” reads the statement RTJ posted on their site. “We hope it brings you some joy. Stay safe and hopeful out there.”The new album is titled simply, RTJ4
and can be downloaded directly from their site or streamed from multiple platforms. Of course, the "bullsh*t" the duo is referring to, more specifically, is the killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd at the hands of police on May 25 which sparked global Black Lives Matter protests against the incident as well as the systemic injustices that have led to countless others like it.Run the Jewels are known for their political lyrics that target social and economic injustice, criticize the inequalities inherent in capitalism, and accuse governments of targeting Black communities through policing and prison systems. On top of that, they've been calling bullsh*t on “all lives matter” since 2016 and are staying vocal in this current political moment.[video_embed id='1968497']RELATED: Killer Mike delivers emotional speech [/video_embed]The new drop comes after Killer Mike was criticized by some for a speech he made
earlier this week in Atlanta. In the address, Mike spoke directly to anyone engaging in violence during the protests, saying "It is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with the enemy." While there have been more nuanced interpretations
of the events since his remarks, the genuine outpouring of grief and emotion, is something he stands by
. “I didn’t want us to lose hope and destroy what we have,” Mike told Stephen Colbert, talking about his love for his city and expressing pride in his hometown’s predominantly Black core. “Hope exists here,” he added.With the early (again, free) release of the album, RTJ is offering fans who are able to, the option to donate an amount of up to $5 to the National Lawyers Guild, an organization that was the first racially integrated bar association in the US and that focuses on human rights law. So far, donations have topped $100,000.
While the new album may seem as though it was recorded last week—particularly the sixth track, "Walking in the Snow"—it turns out the reference to George Floyd's last words, "I Can't Breath," were actually penned back in 2014 after the similarly violent death of Eric Garner at the hands of an NYPD officer. As EL-P reminded
his Twitter followers, Garner was “not the last black man whose last words were ‘I can't breathe.’”[video_embed id='1970253']BEFORE YOU GO: Keke Palmer’s empowering talk with National Guard goes viral [/video_embed]