Meow the Jewels
By: Connor Lenahan
Last year for the release of their second album, Run the Jewels 2, Killer Mike & El-P decided to feature a special preorder for dedicated fans. If you paid tens of thousands of dollars for the free album, you would get a whole bunch of goodies, including a special remix CD made exclusively of cat sounds. This was the accidental birth of Meow the Jewels.
They offered this jokingly. People reacted literally. No one paid the money all at once, but over $40,000 was raised in crowdfunding to actually make Meow the Jewels. This alone was hilarious. Run the Jewels 2 was the best album of 2015 according to multiple sources including Pitchfork and yours truly. Remixing the album with kittens would be awesome, if not a complete joke.
Then late last night Meow the Jewels finally dropped.
It is way, way, way better than I ever expected it to be.
The beautifully brilliant part of this project was that they seem to have taken it seriously. It’s not just stock cat sounds that sound the furthest thing possible from a listenable song. Rather they actually put together the tracks for “Early,” “Jeopardy,” “Angel Duster,” and the rest of the album using manipulated cat sounds. For example, “Close Your Eyes and Meow to Fluff” is still largely the same song, but the drums have been replaced by a jingly collar and some purrs.
I have now listened to the album twice. I have spent the entire time either laughing hysterically or sitting in awe in how the hell this actually worked.
There might be better albums out this year, but nothing will come remotely close to how creative this is. You can get Meow the Jewels for free here. Strike that, you need to get Meow the Jewels. This is fantastic.