R.A.P. Music

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R.A.P. Music
Vets large.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 15, 2012
GenreHip hop
LabelWilliams Street Records
ProducerEl-P, Killer Mike (exec.), Jason Demarco (exec.)
Killer Mike chronology
R.A.P. Music
Singles from Rap Music
  1. "Big Beast"
  2. "Untitled"
    Released: March 16, 2012
  3. "Don't Die"
    Released: April 2, 2012

R.A.P. Music is the fifth studio album by American hip hop recording artist Killer Mike.[1] It was released on May 15, 2012, via Williams Street Records. The word R.A.P. in the album's title is an acronym for Rebellious African People.[2] The album's production was handled entirely by Brooklyn-based hip-hop producer El-P, and is the first collaborative project by Killer Mike and El-P. Killer Mike and El-P have gone on to form the group Run The Jewels and release three studio albums together.


Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[4]
The A.V. ClubB+[5]
Chicago Tribune4/4 stars[6]
The Irish Times4/5 stars[7]
Q4/5 stars[10]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[11]

R.A.P. Music received widespread acclaim from music critics.[3] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 85, based on 27 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim".[3] Among those who reviewed the album positively was AllMusic editor David Jeffries, who stated "rapper Killer Mike already had an incredibly strong discography before R.A.P. Music landed [...] Revolutionary stuff and absolutely no fluff, R.A.P. Music is outstanding."[4] Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club praised the album's production and Mike's politically charged lyrics and wrote "[R.A.P. Music] feels like the culmination of his unusual career."[5] Pitchfork's Ian Cohen designated it "Best New Music" and noted that "even if R.A.P. Music doesn't break enough rules or have enough of a platform to reach the levels of Fear of a Black Planet or Straight Outta Compton or Death Certificate . . . it does come off as the kind of powerful mid-career album those acts should've been able to make as hip-hop's elder spokesmen".[9] Christopher Weingarten of Spin wrote: "A child of the '80s and a student of the Internet, Killer Mike is as exciting and wildly unclassifiable as hip-hop gets: New York noise and country shit, nods to when rap was punk and crunk was pop, Ice Cube before he needed hooks, David Banner before he needed to whisper, and Willie D before he needed anybody."[12] Sputnikmusic staff Sobhi Youssef praised El-P's synth-bass-heavy production and Mike's lyricism, and praised the album as "a hip-hop masterpiece to be remembered for years to come".[14]

In a less positive review, NME writer Henry Barnes stated that "Mike has dabbled with politics in the past, and even made unlikely forays into experimental soul, but R.A.P. Music lacks the fury and vitality that usually sustains him. The ambition is to be applauded, but half the album’s a grind. And not the good kind."[8]


Complex named the album the 32nd best of 2012.[15] The album was listed at number 20 on Rolling Stone's list of the top 50 albums of 2012, saying "Ten-plus years into his career, Outkast colleague Killer Mike stepped up to headline status with a bare-knuckled, politicized Southern-rap record produced by New York sci-fi dystopian El-P." [16] The album was listed 23rd on Stereogum's list of top 50 albums of 2012.[17] English magazine The Wire named the album the 27th best of 2012.[18]

Track listing[edit]

All songs produced by El-P.

1."Big Beast" (featuring Bun B, T.I. and Trouble)3:54
2."Untitled" (featuring Scar)
  • Render
  • Meline
  • Campbell
  • Terrance "Scar" Smith
  • Render
  • Meline
4."Southern Fried"
  • Render
  • Meline
5."JoJo's Chillin"
  • Render
  • Meline
  • Render
  • Meline
7."Don't Die"
  • Render
  • Meline
8."Ghetto Gospel"
  • Render
  • Meline
9."Butane (Champion's Anthem)" (featuring El-P)
  • Render
  • Meline
10."Anywhere But Here" (featuring Emily Panic)
  • Render
  • Meline
11."Willie Burke Sherwood"
  • Render
  • Meline
  • Wilder Zoby
12."R.A.P. Music"
  • Render
  • Meline
  • Zoby


Credits for R.A.P. Music adapted from Allmusic.[19]


  1. ^ "Killer Mike and El-P Team Up for New Album". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Killer Mike: On Ronald Reagan And Raising Daughters". NPR. Retrieved 2012-06-27.
  3. ^ a b c "Reviews for R.A.P. Music by Killer Mike". Metacritic. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Jeffries, David. "R.A.P. Music – Killer Mike". AllMusic. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Rytlewski, Evan (May 15, 2012). "Killer Mike: R.A.P. Music". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  6. ^ Kot, Greg (May 18, 2012). "Killer Mike album review; RAP Music reviewed". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
  7. ^ Carroll, Jim (June 29, 2012). "Killer Mike". The Irish Times. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Barnes, Henry (May 15, 2012). "Killer Mike – 'R.A.P. Music'". NME. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  9. ^ a b Cohen, Ian (May 15, 2012). "Killer Mike: R.A.P. Music". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  10. ^ "Killer Mike: R.A.P. Music". Q (313): 109. August 2012.
  11. ^ Dolan, Jon (May 23, 2012). "R.A.P. Music". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
  12. ^ a b Weingarten, Christopher (May 15, 2012). "Killer Mike, 'R.A.P. Music' (Williams Street)". Spin. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  13. ^ Lelinwalla, Mark (May 15, 2012). "Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music". XXL. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  14. ^ Youssef, Sobhi (May 13, 2012). "Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  15. ^ "32. Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music — The 50 Best Albums of 2012". Complex. 2012-12-18. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
  16. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2012: Killer Mike, 'R.A.P. Music'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
  17. ^ "Stereogum's Top 50 Albums Of 2012". Stereogum. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
  18. ^ "Acclaimed Music Forums • View topic - The Wire EOY 2012". Acclaimedmusic.net. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
  19. ^ "R.A.P. Music - Killer Mike : Credits : AllMusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 17 May 2012.

External links[edit]