Run The Jewels, O2 Academy, Birmingham - review with pictures

By Jordan Harris | Entertainment | Published:

Rap duo Run The Jewels shone a light on everything that is positive about their music on the Birmingham leg of their latest UK tour.

Fresh from performing in front of one of the biggest crowds of the year at Glastonbury, thanks in part to their introduction from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the larger than life duo packed out the 02 Academy on Tuesday night.

Starting with Talk To Me from latest album Run The Jewels 3, Killer Mike and El-P were greeted like kings as their iconic fist and gun backdrop lit up the venue.

Run The Jewels. Pictures by: Emma Turner

The crowd were ready to give a huge dose of love to their heroes and the American duo were more than happy to return the favour.

Hits from all three of the groups records were weaved into a set which really reminded you just how good their output has been so far.

Sea Legs, Close Your Eyes, Oh My Darling Don’t Cry and Down were real highlights, with the intricate flows that have charmed millions worldwide on record given a fresh energy in a live setting.

Rap music is known for being a bit hit and miss when it comes to live shows, but Run The Jewels have got showmanship and bravado that most rock bands would kill for, which helps keep things interesting throughout the night.

From coming out to Queen’s We are the Champions, to the 80s guitar band style back to back poses, the pair know exactly what it takes to get a crowd pumping and aren’t afraid to do it for the good of the show.


Run The Jewels. Pictures by: Emma Turner

Audience interaction was a real highlight and really helped you feel like you could relate to the rappers.

Killer Mike, real name Michael Render, was hilarious when conversing with a father in the crowd over whether he had been dragged out by his son or vice-versa, while El-P was master of ceremonies, making sure the audience came in at just the right points on songs that required their help such as Call Ticketron.

Another highlight of the night was a speech from Killer Mike on depression, where he spoke of losing his mother and the pain that had caused him.


He encouraged anyone going through a period of depression in the crowd to get help and urged everyone in the venue to look out for their friends if they reach that point in their life, with huge cheers the response for his honesty.

Run The Jewels. Pictures by: Emma Turner

The music was raw, the bass was heavy, the flows were tight and the vibe was nothing but pure positivity.

All in all, a perfect rap show.

Jordan Harris

By Jordan Harris
Senior Reporter - @JHarris_Star

Reporter covering Staffordshire/Walsall - also a keen gig goer


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