Run The Jewels Do Not Ask

Both individually and together, El-P and Killer Mike are two of rap’s best interviews. They’re funny, they’re gregarious, and they have a lot of shit to say. (This 2008 Killer Mike interview is probably my favorite interview that I’ve ever done, with anyone.) But they’ve been doing a lot of interviews lately, and evidently many of those interviewers have been asking the same questions over and over again. So El-P has helpfully posted the above note on Instagram, one that makes absolutely clear what you should not ask them. And I would probably pay money to see the death-stares these two guys give the next interviewer who lobs one of these.

Comments (5)
  1. Q: How We Met?
    A: Williams Street

    Q: What do you think of the state of hip-hop?
    A: Well, we put out an album for free and got to go on tour. Let’s call it good.

    Q: How we feel about other artists?
    A: Ya’ll need to team up and start working together if you ever wanna be better than us.

  2. I conducted a large multi-page phone interview with EL-P last year for Ghettoblaster magazine, right before Cancer 4 Cure and RAP Music were released, and I didn’t even ask those questions then. If you have some genuine questions, he’s really open to have a conversation and giving some genuine answers. We even talked about domestic violence and he told me that he cried when MCA died.

    I saw them tour together, with MIke opening, and ran into EL out front before the show. I mentioned to him that we did the interview and he asked, “How did it turn out?” At the time, it hadn’t been published yet, but I told him that I thought that it went well. I got the feeling that it came at a time when he was doing a lot of press and that he didn’t even remember it specifically. I also got the feeling that he had already started getting his buzz on. But, after shaking his hand and when I was about to walk away, he looked at me in the eye and said, “Hey. Thank you,” with a startling amount of sincerity.

    If he didn’t even remember that specific interview, which I still don’t believe that he did, then that just tells me that there’s always an opportunity for him to really come through and open up and, he must present that availability regularly. That also means that it’s up to the interviewer to offer them an opportunity to engage or to completely make them feel like they’re wasting their time. These guys are light-hearted jokesters, but they’re also pretty honest and serious about their crafts and with their respect for the artform. To me, it always felt a little disrespectful to not even do your research before hand. Between the duo, they have 4 decades worth of history in the industry, there’s a lot you could ask. I think this is a pretty hilarious way to handle something that’s got to be getting tiring for them.

  3. Amen for them posting that. Also, it weeds out the lazy journalists from the ones of who genuinely care about the music. Do your homework, and you won’t need to ask such inane questions. Novel concept, yes?

  4. I asked them about female and gay rappers, they didn’t like that as well, but i survived it ;)

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