Built To Last: A Q&A with Run The Jewels

rtjpic Killer Mike (left) and El-P. Photo by Todd Westphal

Run the Jewels are the reason you got into rap music in the first place: major-league wordplay and body-moving beats delivered with  braggadocio and brilliance. The third album from El-P and Killer Mike, RTJ3, find the duo making some of the most thrilling hip-hop of the 21st century, straddling the line between futurism and classicism, political and puerile.

When was the first time that you two collaborated as songwriters.

El-P: I think it just evolved naturally. When I produced R.A.P. Music for Mike, which was the first solo album that I’d done with Mike, I did all the music, and it was his solo album. We just worked really closely together and we formed a really easy, creative bond and we just loved each other’s styles. [Run The Jewels] wasn’t supposed to be any big career move. We were literally doing it for fun. We had no plans to make Run the Jewels sort of our focus, it was something that we just threw each other into, and it was enjoyable. It was exciting because it was unpredictable.

How has writing for this project been different from things you’ve done in the past.

Killer Mike: The writing project was different this time around for me because, I mean shit, I was part of a national presidential campaign with [Bernie] Sanders. I was in the public spotlight for something other than music and there was just a lot of tumultuous... Sign In to Keep Reading

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