Killer Mike is a cool guy. He knows what he wants to be doing, and he’s damn well doing it. One half of Run The Jewels, Mike is absolutely murdering the rap game at the moment. With fresh a collab between the group and DJ Shadow having dropped a few weeks ago, and their third album Run The Jewels 3 nearing completion, Mike has been stepping up his media presence in the past months. In addition to the musical side of things, he has been remarkably vocal in his support of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.
In a recent interview with VladTV, Killer Mike talks about his personal outlook on success, Run The Jewels and why they give their music away for free. When asked why he thought he stood above other rappers of his generation and had come to the cutting edge, Mike said:
“I don’t know. I just don’t stop rapping. Pimp said “Man, you got to rap like you’re drowning man,” so you know, so I’ve never taken time to commemorate or comisserate any of it. Every year I felt like I had to out do whatever I did or didn’t do last year.”
He also remarked that he and 2Chainz were similar in that regard:
“We came up. A lot of people don’t know this because we weren’t doing the “same type of music,” but as I was on my underground ascension, he was on his mixtape ascension. We were right there together. I remember we were still getting booked on the same walkthroughs and stuff. I’m proud of him, man, he’s one of the dudes I really celebrate. It’s crazy, because we just did some cool stuff together too.”
Mike then went on to talk about Run The Jewels and how he came to work with El-P:
“I got an offer from… a guy called Jason DeMarco, a VP over [at William’s Street] to do a record where I, like a young Ice-Cube, could say anything I in the fucking world I wanted to. We were going to do it with a few different producers, but he said “I want you do work with El-P first and see how you like him.” I got in the studio with El… after the first day I knew I wanted him to produce me.”
On why he and El-P decided to put the albums out for free:
Interviewer: “Why did you guys decide to put them out for free?”
Mike: “Why not? Why pretend like this is the fucking puffy era, and you’re going to sell a million and shine on it, get the fuck outta here. The truth of it all is, if kids really love your stuff, they’re going to find a way to support it. Why try to trick them into first week sales and shit like that when we can say “here, take the album, if you like it, dope. If you like it enough, buy it. If you don’t want to buy an album, buy a t-shirt. So the trade-off works for us. I don’t know if it works for everyone, but for us it’s almost like an unspoken agreement with our fans.”
The full interview is below, and I highly recommend you give it a watch/listen. It’s really interesting to hear one of the biggest and most grounded rappers in today’s scene spill his thoughts.