SPIN Dubs Run the Jewels 2020’s “Artist of the Year”

The Grammy-nominated Rap Duo’s Music and Activism Captured the True Voice of A Tumultuous Year

Run the Jewels super duo consisting of Brooklyn-based rapper and producer El-P and Atlanta-based rapper Killer Mike is SPIN Magazine's Artist of the Year. Previous winners include Billie Eilish, Drake, Neil Young, Sia, Smashing Pumpkins, and others. (Photo: Business Wire)

LOS ANGELES--()--SPIN Media, one of the most recognizable names in music journalism and pop culture, has named Run the Jewels SPIN’s prestigious 2020 Artist of the Year. The hip-hop supergroup duo comprised of Brooklyn-based rapper/producer El-P and Atlanta-based rapper Killer Mike is known for its hard-hitting beats and authentic commentary on social issues.

In a year that challenged notions of racial justice, public health and politics like no other, Run the Jewels released their album RTJ4 in true lock step with the moment, while also delivering street-level activism and outreach that gave countless Americans a sense of belonging and hope.

The album's release week this spring — which started with TI and Killer Mike speaking with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and ended with Bill Maher telling Mike he should run for office — encapsulated how Run the Jewels and RTJ4 symbolized fire, rage and, somehow, hopefulness at the end of a very, very long year. "We've been blessed that we kept our nose to the grindstone with the music we believed in, and it resonated at a time when needed," Killer Mike says solemnly.

The rap duo joins an impressive group of past SPIN Artists of the Year, including Drake, Billie Eilish, Neil Young, Sia, Smashing Pumpkins and more. “Run the Jewels captured the energy, spirit and angst of 2020,” said Daniel Kohn, Managing Editor of SPIN. “In these turbulent times, their authentic voice truly resonated with SPIN and our audience.”

SPIN’s hour-long interview with Run the Jewels is packed with unfiltered viewpoints on the state of America’s justice system, the struggles of black Americans and how the duo was able to use their music to inspire, mobilize and heal the masses. They also foreshadowed how the tensions and energy of 2020 will profoundly impact their next album. The feature article is available here, and SPIN also created an outtakes video of highlights from the interview.

Run the Jewels debuted in 2013 with their critically acclaimed self-titled studio album, subsequently released their follow-up Run the Jewels 2 (2014), Run the Jewels 3 (2016), and most recently, RTJ4 (2020), which quickly became one of 2020's anthemic albums.

SPIN recently celebrated its 35th Anniversary under the creative leadership of founder Bob Guccione Jr. SPIN was acquired in early 2020 by Next Management Partners. The growing media group has amassed a community of 250 million followers across all SPIN platforms and the SPIN ambassador network, with plans to expand in 2021.

ABOUT SPIN

SPIN, launched in 1985 by Bob Guccione, Jr, is one of the most recognizable names in music journalism and pop culture. It’s acquisition by Next Management Partners from Billboard in early 2020 has launched a new generation for the legendary media group, putting the brand back where it belongs at the center of the cultural zeitgeist. Recent covers have featured some of today's biggest stars, like Run the Jewels, Machine Gun Kelly, and Kehlani, coupled with in-depth interviews and original video content. SPIN’s reputation for award-winning investigative journalism has been well known, including exposés of Live Aid’s tragic missteps in Ethiopia and the Atlanta child murders cover-up, embedding a reporter inside the IRA, and the first ever article on crack cocaine. From 1987 to 1997, SPIN published a controversial but internationally lauded monthly column on AIDS. Guccione sold SPIN in 1997 to Miller Publishing.

Contacts

Anna Wilgan, DiGennaro Communications
anna.wilgan@digennaro-usa.com

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Contacts

Anna Wilgan, DiGennaro Communications
anna.wilgan@digennaro-usa.com