Earlier today, the acclaimed rap pair Run The Jewels announced a new single “Panther Like A Panther (I’m The Shit)” that played in a trailer for Gears of War 4’s revamped horde co-op mode. Not long after, another video debuted showing both members of the group, Killer Mike and El-P, as playable characters available in new DLC for the third-person monster shooter.
With purchase of the $20 Run The Jewels Airdrop, players get both rappers’ models along with a smattering of extras, like emblems, bounties and weapon skins slapped with the pair’s iconic gun-hand gesture logo. Rabid fans can take their Gears-meets-RTJ pride into meatspace with game-themed swag from the duo’s store.
This isn’t the pair’s first rodeo with nerd culture. In the last couple years, Marvel released several alternate art covers for Deadpool, Howard The Duck and Black Panther comics homaging RTJ’s hand gesture emblem. Nor is it Gears of War’s first foray inviting rap personalities to contribute, as the series’ original studio Epic brought Ice-T on to voice a character in Gears of War 3 back in 2011 — though they had the grace to offer his additions for free in exchange for Facebook likes.
As fans have lamented on the game’s forum and its subreddit, the RTJ Airdrop isn’t included in Gears of War 4‘s $50 Season Pass, meaning players who bought it anticipating access to every DLC will be sorely disappointed. Followers looking forward to the duo’s highly-anticipated third album could be likewise let down, as their original estimate for release by the end of 2016 might not make it in time for Christmas, as El-P wrote in a tweet this morning:
fyi we are still TRYING to finish, mix and master the record in time for a 2016 release as you may have heard. will update you when we know.
– el-p (@therealelp) September 1, 2016