At this point, Run The Jewels’ album artwork is considered iconic. I went to a birthday party a few weeks ago and overheard a friend talking to a dude I had never met about “this cool mummified hand thing” he noticed in a sketchbook that had been left on the coffee table. The stranger, who turned out to be the Brooklyn-based illustrator Nick Gazin, unassumingly said, “Oh yeah, do you know Run The Jewels? I drew that for their album cover!” My friend didn’t know shit about Run The Jewels, but I was stoked when I overheard their exchange and ended up looking at an early sketch that wrought the duo’s gun-and-fist logo. Artists never get enough credit, so kudos to you Mr. Gazin! In case you could’ve possibly forgotten what it looks like, this is the cover of RTJ:
As it turns out, there are a lot of people besides me and my drunk friend who think that the Run The Jewels cover art is cool. The Australian DJ duo NERVO used a similar symbol as a part of their dance for the song “Hey Ricky.” The sister-act tweeted a photo of their fans making the hand signals yesterday:
— NERVO (@nervomusic) June 10, 2015
To be fair, it looks like the motivations behind these gestures are more sexual in nature (notice the fact that the left-hand fist is not, in fact, fully-clenched), but to anyone glancing at the image, it looks the same. Run The Jewels’ El-P tweeted out a response less than an hour later:
come on, son. https://t.co/y2oSHpg6n8
— el-p (@therealelp) June 10, 2015
Maybe some people will say that El-P is being ridiculous, and that NERVO acolytes should be allowed to do whatever they want with their hands in the name of fandom, but someone might see that artwork and think: “Damn! What did Run The Jewels have to do with this?” Run The Jewels would want nothing to do with this; watch the original “Hey Ricky” video, which features Kreayshawn, Dev, and Alisa below.