Mina Tavakoli

At a North Carolina nightclub in late May, a woman named Shaneera presided onstage, coyly flicking fake, nut-colored hair over her shoulders. Her eyes, super-sized by drag makeup, were visible from the back of the club as she chanted short spells in Arabic, while her music — all pandemonium and pummel — rattled the venue like a weak earthquake. Despite the diabolical display, when Shaneera looked out into the crowd, her gaze felt unexpectedly tender. At the end of her set, credits rolling behind her, she bowed, removed her wig and laughed herself offstage.

Like any good pair of twins, Run the Jewels have a freaky sort of unspoken fraternity. When El-P and Killer Mike strode in with their usual uniforms — Mike in a gold chain as thick as a garter snake, El in a fitted Yankees cap and pair of blue-mirrored sunglasses — the two didn't have to do as much as nod to one another before upending three tracks from their latest LP, RTJ3, in strange and perfect symbiosis.