The lead-up to Killer Mike and El-P‘s second album as Run the Jewels has been an odyssey. “Blockbuster Night Part 1,” the first track to emerge from what was originally titled RTJ2 and listed for an October 28 release via Nas’s Mass Appeal Records, arrived when the Atlanta-New York rap duo was in the headlines for its righteous indignation over Michael Brown’s police shooting death in Ferguson, Missouri. Since then, though, they’ve been in our social-media feeds for other reasons: ripping on Taylor Swift’s “Welcome to New York,” collaborating with Police Academy’s “Man of 10,000 Noises,” and, of course, preparing a Kickstarter-funded, cat-based album version titled Meow the Jewels.
Overnight, amid reports the new Run the Jewels album (not the one with the cat) had leaked, El-P shared it a few days early. The title is listed as Run the Jewels 2, which definitely rolls off the tongue better than RTJ2, and as with the debut album, it’s a free download, with physical editions still to follow. Guests include Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha, Beyoncé collaborator BOOTS, blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and Diane Coffee (Foxygen‘s Shaun Fleming). It’s “a little more punch-you-in-the-face,” El-P said of the album to Wondering Sound contributor Ron Hart.
Download Run the Jewels 2 here, or listen to “Blockbuster Night Part 1″ below.