Run the Jewels, the hip-hop duo of Atlanta's Killer Mike and Brooklyn's El-P, have been dropping near-classic albums throughout their four-release discography.

But it isn’t just their musical talent, or their second-act artistic success story, that is most impressive. Instead, it is the meteoric role they have played in placing distinctly 21-st Century hip-hop centrally in the modern American activist conversation (in particular from Killer Mike), becoming bonafide media personalities, as often asked for comment on the state of race relations, police militarization, gun ownership, or class war, as they are to drop LPs of nostalgia-laden bars. But there is one thing Run the Jewels has not done until now, and that is to release a full on remix album.

By nature, remix albums are meant to act as horizon expanders, usually musically. And, if the political ethos of Run the Jewels is to be considered genuine, then the expansion of their musical landscape would be an integral part of a more expansive brand – almost a necessity from the how-do-I-feel subjectivity of modern activism. With that, the just-released RTJ CU4TRO (Jewel Runners/BMG) is a stellar example. Not just a musical reimagination, but one integrating cross-media discipline and cultural nuance into a, somehow, chaotically cohesive product. The album, a complete reimagining of their 2020 smash RTJ4, exists through the prism of diverse Latin American collaborators. Not just rappers or singers but also producers and visual artists. In construction, the duo do appear prominently (including co-executive- production from El-P). Yet, each song's foundational stems were also presented to specific collaborators to reimagine as they would. From the cover art, designed by Mexican-American graphic designer Edoardo Chavarin to the appearances of recent Latin Grammy-nominee Akapellah, to the duo’s latest collaboration with Rage Against the Machine frontman Zach de la Rocha (following 2015’s discography-high Close Your Eyes And Count to F**K), RTJ CU4TRO teems with enthusiasm and support across its lengthy credit list.

But what about the music? For me, its non-traditional structure, yet remix-branding, immediately elicits the kind of creativity and determination obvious across its tracklist. The Akapellah-collaboration mentioned above, also including Latin American rappers Apache and Pawmps, reimagines RTJ4's Walkin in the Snow into a revelatory call for revolution across all cultures through gritty, distorted guitars and equatorial percussion. Another strong point is Ooh la la, a project of producer DJ Camilo Lara aka The Mexican Institute of Sound, known for his fusion of folk and traditional sounds with uniquely Latin American electronica. Then, the dreamier side of electronica appears on Bomba Estéreo's Never Look Back, while the album’s most traditionally accessible track Ju$t, remixed by Toy Selectah, features its most recognizable international names, Zach de la Rocha and Pharrell Williams.

What strikes me about RTJ CU4TRO is its free-for-all approach; there is no cultural co-opting. Instead, artists from across the Americas (and across skin palettes), from Honduras to Colombia, Mexico to Venezuela, to those in the Latin American-US diaspora, use respective artistic colors across a broader palette executively produced by frequent collaborator Nick Hook. The result is a colourful, diverse, albeit somewhat chaotic, album from a region representing the same. Furthermore, and perhaps most admirably, RTJ CU4TRO also acts as a charitable endeavor, raising money to help reunite families separated across American administrations at the US/Mexican border.