Iconic rap duo Run The Jewels released their acclaimed debut album in 2013. Killer Mike and El-P’s unique lyrics and gritty musical style changed the way listeners consumed hip-hop and rap. T he brutal and hard-hitting Gears of War 4 was the first game in the series to launch on the newest generation of Xbox, the Xbox One. The release of Run The Jewels 3 perfectly aligned with the launch of Gears of War 4, creating the opportunity to break through the noise and reach new audiences. A game as big as Gears of War 4 deserved its own exclusive music so we flipped the script on how music is released.
The partnership kicked off six months before the game’s release with the Gears of War 4 Multiplayer Trailer. The trailer, featured across all gaming media and most major media outlets, included the track Nobody Speak by DJ Shadow and featuring Run The Jewels. Online banter led to the partnership dropping a crossover logo featuring the signature Run The Jewels hand and fist logo incorporating the iconic Gears of War lancer.
The program continued Labor Day weekend at PAX West in Seattle, Washington with the announcement that Killer Mike and El-P would be playable characters in Gears of War 4. The weekend included a Run the Jewels fan meet at world renowned apparel shop BAIT and the release of the Gears of War 4 Horde 3.0 trailer. The trailer, featuring gameplay from Gears of War 4’s exclusive Horde mode, included a new, unreleased track from the upcoming Run The Jewel 3 album, Panther Like A Panther. It was the world premier for both the game content and music creating heavy media pick-up from both the gaming and music worlds.
The collaboration came to an end in December with a pair of activations. First, the Run The Jewels duo were released as playable DLC characters in Gears of War 4. Then the duo performed at The Game Awards where they challenged all gamers to take them on in the game.