Run The Jewels are performing at Banksy’s pop-up “bemusement park” Dismaland in a couple of weeks, and ahead of that appearance, Banksy interviewed the hip-hop duo for The Guardian — although they’ve never played a theme park before, Killer Mike says that his dream is “to play Six Flags Over Georgia before I check out of life.”
Banksy begins by telling them that he cried after watching Killer Mike’s powerful speech onstage in St. Louis following the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, and he then asks them when they last cried at a Youtube video. Mike gets real and talks about a clip of Dr. John Henrik Clarke speaking about Marcus Garvey: “I was overwhelmed with pain for a great man that was abused and mistreated because he wanted to better the state of blacks globally. It is scary to think a system exists that wishes not to see all people live with human dignity and respect. I did, however, finish feeling encouraged that day will come.” El-P, on the other hand, cried at that video of the lion reuniting with the humans who raised him — which, to be fair, is also pretty emotional.
Banksy also asks them if they agree with Kanye West’s own assessment that he’s the greatest rock star in the world. El-P does, and Killer Mike thinks that “Kanye is amazing and may be the greatest rock star in the world but Rihanna is the new Tupac (in feminist form), and as much as I love rock, ain’t nobody do it like Pac! Ri-Ri rules in my book.”
Other topics discussed included graffiti, favorite artists, and whether they would rather be thought of as a great artist or a nice person. El-P says that “Being known as honorable is way more important to me. But being that my career is in the public and my personal relationships are ultimately private, I suppose, for the sake of the question, being considered a great artist publicly means a bit more than being considered a nice guy publicly … I don’t get paid to be a nice guy, I just try to be one.” Killer Mike: “I believe being honorable lasts longer than rapping good.”
Read the full interview here.