Nobody does real talk like Reggie Ossé a.k.a. Combat Jack. The former rap industry attorney, media executive, author, and Internet radio talk-show personality now hosts The Combat Jack Show, where hip-hop's biggest names are put on the front line. The questions will be tough—and shots will be fired. Co-hosted by Dallas Penn, Premium Pete, and Just Blaze, The Combat Jack Show appears every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday on Complex TV.
This week Killer Mike and El-P visit The Combat Jack Show. In the first episode, the duo talk about Mike's acclaimed album R.A.P Music, which they co-produced.
Dallas Penn opens by reading lines from Mike's track "Untitled," priasing his polysyllabic wordplay and thought-provoking concepts.
"You wanna know something even iller?" El-P adds, "he freestyled that. I was there. I watched that happen."
Mike responds by praising El-P for pushing him to new heights on this album, and admitting that he was in a tough spot in his career going into this project. "When I left the major label, I got shitted on," says Mike. "I got shitted on by my city. I got shitted on by Outkast fans. I got shitted on... Not all, but a lot of people were like 'Fuck you buddy... You're done.' So I had to put on a gruff exterior and just mash like it was impenetrable."
Mike adds that he never trusted a producer like he trusted El-P. El-P "I say a lot of shit that could get me murdered," he says. "My fear, when I'm sitting around thinking about some of the topics that we rap about, is 'What if some day somebody doesn't like this? What if something just happens?'" He says his biggest fear is leaving his wife and children before his time. But as he gets ready to rap, he thinks about what Martin Luther King or Malcolm X felt like. "Every day they had to know it could be the day."
Mike credits El-P for challenging him to hold nothing back on R.A.P. Music. "El really pushed," Mike recalls. "[He told me] Say some real shit on this one. Give them your fears."
Click above to hear the truth as told to Combat Jack...