When Run The Jewels dropped their fourth album in June 2020, they closed the album with the rambunctious “A Few Words For The Firing Squad.” It was a bold and fitting choice; the album was released at the height of several uprisings against police brutality, particularly against the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The punishing track stressed their distrust of the system and commitment to fighting back by any means necessary.
It has been a couple of years and a whole heap of new problems has appeared to burden the average American citizen with worries about pox viruses, inflation, and the loss of bodily autonomy, but “A Few Words For The Firing Squad” remains as poignant and timely as ever. El-P and Killer Mike stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to remind viewers that there’s still a fight for justice going on even amidst the slog of daily life during a pandemic.
With a stripped-down that highlighted the lyrics and message in lieu of an elaborate light show, Mike and P rap their verses without a drum track. Only a lone saxophonist accompanies them, growing more urgent and frantic as their rhymes do. You can catch the boys performing the song — and others — on their tour with Rage Against The Machine.
Watch Run The Jewels perform “A Few Words For The Firing Squad” from their fourth album on The Late Show above.