Killer Mike and El-P may have dropped the digital version of their highly-anticipated Run the Jewels 3 on Christmas Eve, but the duo is releasing the physical versions of the album today in the US (globally next week). As part of this second wave release, Run the Jewels revealed an augmented reality project: "ARTJ." In addition to the artwork for the vinyl and CD versions of RTJ3, all of the digital images, posters, stickers and shirts have been properly equipped for AR.
With the ARTJ iOS app, you can see content exclusive to all of that physical merch. The app includes visuals from a number of artists the hip hop duo has worked with in the past. Run the Jewels say that this is the "first phase" of ARTJ with more stuff coming later this year. This isn't the first time RTJ has embraced more immersive visuals to complement their music. Following Run the Jewels 2, Killer Mike and El-P teamed with The New York Times to release a virtual reality version of their video for "Crown." They also released a special edition Google Cardboard headset on Record Store Day last April to complement the "VRTJ" footage.
As was the case with the first two installments, Run the Jewels 3 was released digitally for free, but physical copies and other merchandise are available for purchase. The addition of AR content gives fans a bit of added value on top of the items they buy. At a time when streaming continues to dominate both digital and physical music sales, extras like this could persuade fans to open their wallets.