Published Jul 24, 2013Atlanta rapper Killer Mike (born Michael Render) and New York rapper/producer El-P (born Jaime Meline) just released their self-titled debut as Run the Jewels late last month, but as El-P points out, the pair haven't known each other that long.
As El-P explains in a recent Exclaim! interview, the rapper was familiar with Mike's work, but had no plans to collaborate until both MCs were approached by a representative from Williams Street Records. After working in the studio for a few days, El-P explains, "We clicked so hard, it was so fun and the music was so good that we started working together. We just had a couple of conversations, a couple of jams and we're friends and partners."
The sessions resulted in El-P producing the entirety of Mike's 2012 album R.A.P. Music; Mike also kicked a mean verse on "Tougher Colder Killer" for El-P's 2012 album Cancer 4 Cure.
This is what Killer Mike refers to as "some real fairy tale shit." Run the Jewels' balance of braggadocio and politics naturally springs from how the two rappers talk, as Mike explains: "Even when [El-P] and I are hanging out together, a third of the conversation is us talking about serious, deep stuff, a third is us shit talking about shit, and a third is just shit talking about each other."
He calls Run the Jewels "a sneak peek at what it's like to hang out with us."
So is this partnership for life? El-P has a specific game plan, following the path of previous rap duos: "We're going to make four records, just like EPMD, then publicly, horribly break up, then do a reunion record and it'll be really good."
Mike, meanwhile, predicts that "we're going to be 50 and finally break up, like 'Fuck Jaime Meline!'"
Run the Jewels' self-titled debut is available for free now via Fool's Gold. The group will be touring all summer, including dates this week in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. You can see all the dates below.
07/24 Edmonton, AB - Starlite Room *
07/25 Calgary, AB - Republik *
07/26 Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret *
07/27 Seattle, WA - Capitol Hill Block Party *
07/28 Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre *
07/30 San Francisco, CA - The Independent *
08/01 Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex *
08/02 Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory *
08/03 Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom *
08/05 Austin, TX - Mohawk *
08/06 Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon *
08/07 Atlanta, GA - Masquerade *
08/08 Asheville, NC - Orange Peel *
08/09 Chapel Hill, NC - Cat's Cradle *
08/10 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
08/12 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer *
08/13 Boston, MA - Paradise *
08/14 New York, NY - Webster Hall *
* with Despot, Kool AD