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Killer Mike & EL-P on The Combat Jack Show Ep. 1

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Combat Jack:

Internets, tonight I'm really excited about our two guests, because I've been trying to get them on this show for a very long time. We've got Grammy Award winning, Pan-Africanist, gangster rapper, civic leader, and activist, Killer Mike! And he brought along with him company Flow co-founder (?) architect, member of the weathermen, underground rap, and Presario, and rap

renaissance man:

LP! Gentlemen, welcome to the Combat Jack Show.

Killer Mike:

Thank you.

Combat Jack:

When you guys linked up, did you guys think you would have such a major impact?

Killer Mike:

Yeah, I will say we knew pretty quick.

EL-P:

I hate to say, yes, because that sounds like a, you know, "Yeah of course we did!" I've got to say man, in all honesty I think that's why we did it; because in the first couple of days we knew we had something special.

Killer Mike:

Yeah.

EL-P:

We were like, you know, we knew this was going to work and we also knew that it was going to work to our advantage that no one thought it would work. So you know, it was like this is, we knew we had something, we did we did.

Combat Jack:

the Verses to "Untitled", the way it opens up.

Killer Mike:

Yeah.

Combat Jack:

It's a crazy verse for Hip Hop.

Killer Mike:

Yeah, thank you.

Combat Jack:

I had to sit down and write it down, I knew it was hot but when I sat down and looked at it, your word playing side here, the poly-syllabic words, "you are witnessing elegance in the form of a black elephant, smoking white rhino on terraces, while I die slaying, like my king, by a terrorist. Will my woman be Coretta, take my name and cherish it, or will she Jackie-O, drop the Kennedy, remarry it, like flip it"

EL-P:

You want to hear something even iller? He free-styled that. Like, I was there.

Combat Jack:

I don't even want to hear that!

EL-P:

I watched it happen.

Combat Jack:

Where do these words come from?!

EL-P:

Who does that?

Killer Mike:

I can honestly say, EL , like you're the- I understood after we started working, you're the product of a producer as an artist, and I trust my producers but I never just fully trust in one self and EL really pushed me to personalize more. You know, people have seen me but people have seen like my ego and not like in a brash harsh shitting on people kind of way, but they're seeing the ego because I left the major label, I got shit on, you know? I got shit on by my city, I got shit on by Outkast fans, I got shit on- not all but a lot of people just like..

EL-P:

He's done.

Killer Mike:

Yeah, like, "fuck you buddy, you're done" and so I really had to put on a gruff exterior and just mash in a way that was impenetrable and EL really pushed on this one, like, you know "Say some real shit, give them your fears, your angst, your everything." And that first verse was, I have a very beautiful wife that I love and adore and she's the furthest thing from a trophy wife, she is a, she's my other half, she's the brains of the operation, she's smart.

EL-P:

She's a shooter.

Killer Mike:

Yeah and I said a lot of shit that could get me murdered and, you know, my fear, when I'm sitting around thinking about some of the topics that we rap about, is, you know, what if some day somebody does it like this? What if something just happens, you know? My fear is leaving her and my children before time and it took me to a place where, you know, as I'm about to start the freestyle, I just imagined like what did King feel like? What did Malcolm feel like? Before, like-

EL-P:

Right.

Killer Mike:

Every day they had to know it could be the day, so every day you have to reconcile the fact that this might be it. So when I say, "you're witnessing elegance in the form of a black elephant. Smoking White Rhino on terraces." It was me imagining myself as king, like I'd be on a terrace just smoking a blunt. You know, "will I die slain like my King by terrorists." You know, the government killed him, and that's what I mean, no random white guy just- We know who killed Dr. King.

Combat Jack:

Right.

Killer Mike:

It was a conspiracy, you know, "Will my woman take my name or will my woman be Coretta, take my name and cherish it?" I don't, you know, me and my ego, my personal- Michael does not want to see my with with anyone else.

Combat Jack:

Of Course

Killer Mike:

When I say, " Will she Jackie O, drop the Kennedy, remarry it." You know, Jackie O, for her protection, for the protection of her children, had to remarry. You know, it was the best thing for her to do, even though Coretta didn't, Jackie did. So it was not a- it wasn't castigating her but just saying, " I don't want her to make that choice." I said, "My sisters say it's necessary, all some Cleopatra shit." Cleopatra had to marry to keep her country together. You know it was wise, Jackie O had to marry to keep her children safe. I said, "but my grandmother said no, never that, it's sacrilege." I tend to agree, but the thought is so disparaging, The Lord give a load, you've got to carry it like Marry did. So whatever God puts in your lap, you got to die, you got to die.

EL-P:

Yeah.

Killer Mike:

You know what I mean? So I really wanted to take the influence of The Bible as I grew up, history that I had seen, and my personal feelings about them and wrap it in this soliloquy and it just kind of worked. I've got to thank EL for just pushing me to be honest and very raw about my emotion outside of I want to win this fight of all.

EL-P:

Mike has finally starting, in my opinion, he's finally starting his career. Which is not to discount all of the-

Killer Mike:

After nine years.

Combat Jack:

It takes Ten years to become an overnight success

EL-P:

All of the amazing music that he's done, all of the great people that he's worked with, but what I'm saying is that I just saw Mike preform on Letterman, and you know that's just from dudes who had no aspirations of making anything, we didn't care about how it was going to get played. We got into a room, there was no management, there was no anybody, it was me and him.

Killer Mike:

Shrooms and Weed.

EL-P:

And we literally, like two fucking teenagers, we sat in a room and just made the record we wanted to make, that's it. And I'm so proud of that, and I think that's so important and I wish that feeling on people.

Killer Mike:

True true.

EL-P:

I think that I saw Mike, and I told Mike this when we got together, I said, " I don't want that, like you're going to see because I believe this. You're going to see that when you're doing this and you did the record that you wanted to do and you didn't fucking think about anyone else you're going to make it on those terms. Once you do, who can tell you shit?


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.

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