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Track of the Week: “Early (ft. BOOTS)” by Run the Jewels


If someone were to walk up to me today and tell me they don’t see any value in rap, this would be the song I’d show them.

“Early” starts off in a heartbeat rhythm that expands into industrial synths and slowcore electronic drums. Killer Mike highlights a police brutality scenario, an event constantly occurring across the U.S.  Heavy with race issues, the track sears its message into scrambled plastic buzzes aside El-P’s fast-paced analysis, which spotlights his own race.

“Early” begs attention to recent events around America, and Mike is there to fill you in, referencing absurd stop-and-frisk policies still enacted today, questioning authority, while stating he “respects the badge and the gun.”

Scattered bass lines, partly synthesized by previously unknown producer, BOOTS, bleed in between their words, resetting the focus to Mike and El’s pulsing rap patterns, while the hook solidifies the emotional tone: “Get out / feeling this too early.”

Watch the live performance of “Early” on Letterman here:


Listen to the studio recording here:


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