Photograph by Kristin McCarthy
Jan. 19, 2017: As the nation prepared to inaugurate its 45th president, the dread hanging in the air was palpable. The last thing anybody was in the mood for was an extremely lit hip-hop show, and it was also the last thing rap duo Run the Jewels was in the mood for. Forced to cancel an earlier show at Echostage, they were given the option to reschedule on Inauguration Eve, and as group member El-P explained from the stage, “we were like ‘no thank you’” at first. Eventually, he and fellow rapper Killer Mike came around to the idea and blasted into their set with righteous fury and unrestrained joy. For that evening at least, the crowd let it all go, celebrated the Obama era, and reveled in some much-needed catharsis. During the brief interlude when the duo railed against the Commander in Chief-to-be, El-P roared, “You know what, history wants Run the Jewels here right the fuck now!” Can we have them here for the next four years, please?