Killer Mike on being unhappy with Obama, and a zombie apocalypse
El-P on Prince, his mother, and full band rap shows
Killer Mike might be the most dangerous MC spitting right now. This isn't to say that modern hip-hop lacks for dissenting, uncompromising voices or agit-prop ideas, but given the visibility the Atlanta rapper born Michael Render commands right now, he's using his platform for the most good. If new album R.A.P. Music (Williams Street) isn't quite inspiring listeners to question everything, it at least offers an impetus to start questioning some things.
Given how much contemporary urban pop aspires to jokes, parties, and idiocy, Mike essentially fills a polemic gap once occupied by artists like Ice Cube, Ice-T, Rage Against The Machine, and Public Enemy, sounding the class-war alarm for the Age of Obama. His inclination to mash up realism and political consciousness isn't anything new -- 2008's Ghetto Extraordinary was no less incendiary and navel-gazing in a thoughtfully uncomfortable way -- but new pal El-P's serrated production on Music has elevated his muse to new heights.
Your publicist told me that your interview schedule is totally insane right now. Roughly speaking, how many interviews have you done to promote this record and tour?
Are you guys thinking about turning it into a full-length movie?