Run The Jewels appeared on "The Late Show With" David Letterman last night for a rousing rendition of their song “Early.”
Appearing on their latest album Run the Jewels 2, the song combines ferocious bars with a soulful chorus from Beyonce collaborator Boots, who appeared with them singing and playing guitar in the background. They were also joined by a chorus of backup singers in Dia De Los Muerte facepaint.
Run The Jewels is comprised of Killer Mike, longtime Dungeon Family member and Outkast affiliate, and EL-P, a legend in hip-hop circles for his chaotic, dissonant work as part of the Def Jux label in the late 90’s and early 2000s.
Their furious late career resurgence was in full swing on Letterman: Mike and El never let the intensity waver for a second. In the wake of Ferguson and elsewhere—which Mike has previously been vocal about—his verse takes a strong, principled stance against police brutality: “Please don’t lock me up in front of my kids, and in front of my wife, man, I ain’t got a gun or a knife,” he raps. "And I pray today ain't the day that you drag me away/Right in front of my beautiful son. "
It’s quite a powerful, radical message for America to hear on a mainstream TV show, and one we've never needed more. Watch the clip above.