Run the Jewels – “Love Again (feat. Gangsta Boo)” (Singles Going Steady)

Run the Jewels is one of the best hip-hop groups of the 2010s, and "Love Again" is one of their best songs yet.

Emmanuel Elone: Let’s get this out of the way; Run the Jewels 2 was one of the best albums of 2014, and “Love Again” was one of the best songs from that album. You really can’t go wrong with Run the Jewels. Killer Mike brings his southern-tinged lyricism to the table once more, this time talking about coitus. This continues on El-P’s verse, but becomes much more interesting when Gangsta Boo mirrors Mike’s verse by talking about intercourse from a woman’s perspective. In fact, her feature is so fantastically vulgar and pimp that it nearly overshadows Mike’s and El-P’s, which is not an easy feat. Production-wise, all you need to know is that it is an El-P instrumental, like all Run the Jewels songs. If there’s any flaw in the track, it’s that El-P’s verse isn’t as great as Mike’s or Boo’s, but it’s still as over-the-top and enthralling. Put simply, Run the Jewels is one of the best hip-hop groups of the 2010s, and “Love Again” is one of their best songs yet. [9/10]

Chris Ingalls: Musically, this is phenomenal, with a trippy beat and a weird, electronic buzzing that serves as the song’s memorable music bed. But, the misogyny. If I’m missing some deeper meaning, like it’s some sort of statement about how women are treated as objects, then so be it. But it’s probably just some horndog’s anthem to the joys of oral sex. Yawn. [4/10]

Pryor Stroud: An anomaly in the contemporary festival-circuit pop scene, Run the Jewels have accomplished a rare, perhaps unrepeatable, feat: commingling the profanity-fueled lexicon of gangster rap with the sociopolitical punditry of an avant-garde academic text, Killer Mike and El-P’s have crafted a fiery friction between style and substance that has managed to attract uproarious plaudits from critics and audiences alike. “Love Again” proves why this is so. Hard-hitting, lyrically adroit, and charged with an elastic, thoroughly grimy beat, it walks a precarious line between misogynistic indulgence and sexual commentary, but manages to communicate its thesis that sexual desire often includes valences of perversity and violence. “Pleasure come from punishment / Your threshold astonishing,” Killer Mike raps, and the song itself could be heard as a test of this threshold for the listener — in other words, he asks, what perversions are you willing to admit? [8/10]

Chad Miller: The song sounds really good. The subtle brass and harsh beats add a nice foundation to the piece for the rappers to work off of. The lyrics on the other hand aren’t that interesting. It is nice to have Gangsta Boo on the track to counteract the “dick in the mouth all day” verses though. The music almost sets the verses up as a competition which is kind of fun. [7/10]

SCORE: 7.00