Run The Jewels Perform Stripped-Back Version Of "A Few Words For The Firing Squad" On "Late Show"

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Run The Jewels
Run The Jewels did a provocative performance of their 2020 song on "The Late Show."

Run The Jewels, the critically acclaimed duo made up of El-P and Killer Mike, have never shied away from getting political. They were among the over 600 musicians who called for a boycott of Israel after the country besieged Gaza last year. Their fourth album, RTJ4, came out in June of 2020, near the height of the Black Lives Matter protests that seized the United States following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Much of the album directly addressed the injustices that were being protested.

Even though a couple years have passed, Run The Jewels' message of fighting corrupt and prejudiced systems continues to be relevant. The two made this abundantly clear on their recent performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where they performed the final song off of RTJ4, "A Few Words For The Firing Squad." It's a track which encapsulates El-P and Killer Mike's by-any-means-necessary call for justice.

The duo put the lyrics at the forefront of their set, performing without a drum track. They were accompanied only by a churning sound effect and a solo saxophonist. It's clear they had the audience captivated.

Back in 2021, the Jewels' lyricism arose in an unlikely place: the House of Congress. Stacey Plaskett, the House delegate for the US Virgin Islands, cited El-P's lyrics during her speech at Former President Donald Trump's impeachment hearing. "'Truth is truth, whether denied or not,'" she said, quoting RTJ's song "Early." "And the truth is, President Trump had spent months calling his supporters to a march on a specific day, at a specific time, in specific places to stop the certification."

Run The Jewels have been on tour with Rage Against The Machine, a band with a similar message to Killer Mike and El-P.


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