Music

Run the Jewels (El-P and Killer Mike) - "Get It" (stream)

The new song from hip-hop odd couple El-P and Killer Mike continues the synergy found on their outstanding 2012 solo efforts, finding the duo sliding into a masterful, sinister comfort zone that's the equivalent of two super villains doing battle over the world right before they decide to conquer it together.

Don’t let anyone steer you wrong. Despite the fact that it’s an excellent album, Kendrick Lamar’s breakout LP good kid, m.A.A.d city was not the best rap record released last year. That distinction goes to the unexpected and sublime team-up between Dungeon Family-associated rapper Killer Mike and rapper/producer/former Def Jux label head El-P, the El-P produced Killer Mike album R.A.P. Music. Though they only rapped on one track together on that record, the project was a standout chiefly for their remarkable (and somewhat unlikely) chemistry. For that reason, it’s impossible to not be excited about their newest collaboration, a duo called Run the Jewels that features the two sharing rapping duties (and El-P wielding some typically monster production, naturally). First full song leak from the album "Get It" (a snippet of a song called "Banana Clipper was released a few weeks previous) shows the two in vicious quotable mode (El: "My name is Jaime Meline / I'm not chasing the green, I'm taking it", Mike: "Mike'll fuck a rapper's life up like Monique did to Precious") and they relentlessly try to one-up one another while sounding like two friends genuinely happy to be working together. They trade bars in classic style, and it's rare to hear two modern rappers work so well together -- so much the better, then, that Fool's Gold will be releasing the group's full-length LP for free this summer.

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

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