The group discussed their childhood influences and potential roles in a post-apocalyptic society.
On Tuesday, Run the Jewels joined Rick Rubin for the Broken Record podcast. The group discussed their adolescent musical influences, Run the Jewels 4, and more. Stream the entire podcast below.
Run the Jewels has earned their reputation for their aggressive (and humorous) brand of political rap. Given their substantial track record, Rubin posed the question of how the duo remains inspired to create.
“A limitation for certain artists who are very single-focused,” Rubin said, “is after they’ve made a couple of albums, it’s like ‘what’s left to do?’ Now what? Why is it interesting to talk about the same subject again for ten more songs? What’s interesting about it now, that wasn’t before?”
Killer Mike cited Skee-Lo’s 1995 single “I Wish” as an inspiring take from a relatable perspective.
“That record was so honest to me,” he said. “At a time where everything had been so hardcore…it was perfect. [There are] insecurities with being a teenage boy. That song [addressed them] and not in a whiny sucker way…it was very honest…if you look at what rules in rap now, it’s the world to that perspective. The top guys now, they have a sensitivity that wasn’t allowed in my day.”
El-P echoed Mike’s sentiment, saying the rap genre’s newfound freedom allows them to test their own boundaries. “I love the relinquishing of self-seriousness,” he said. “I think that you’re doomed if you come into art thinking that you need to take yourself seriously all the time. That’s a fucking trap.”
According to El-P, Run the Jewels 4 will arrive before the group performs at Coachella April 10 and 17.