Results for Killer Mike

interviews

El-P

El-P, aka Jaime Meline, joins Jim and Greg in the Sound Opinions studio this week. Take a look at any of the underground hip-hop that came out of New York in late '90s, and chances are you'll find El-P somewhere in the background. As a rapper, producer, and head of the indie record label Definitive Jux, El-P has left an indelible mark on New York hip-hop. And he's not slowing up anytime soon. This year, El-P produced Killer Mike's R.A.P. Music and his own solo album, Cancer 4 Cure. El-P grew up in Brooklyn during hip-hop's golden age in the eighties. By 1993 he'd founded his own group, Company Flow. He tells Jim and Greg how creating the track "Last Good Sleep," for their sophomore album, Funcrusher Plus, transformed his approach to songwriting. The more specific and personal the story, El says, the more universal. Today, even El-P's“political”songs are more about internal struggles than external ones. In fact the title for his record, Cancer 4 Cure, is inspired by the idea that our bodies are constantly fighting off an illness latent inside us. Not to suggest that Cancer 4 Cure is a downer. There's hope, Jaime says, - though“not unbattered hope”- that the characters in his songs will come through.

Go to episode 356

Run the Jewels

Rapper Killer Mike and rapper/producer El-P are have both enjoyed a long history of critical acclaim. But it wasn't until formed a duo - Run the Jewels - that they enjoyed widespread attention and acclaim. The idea to work with El-P was suggested to Killer Mike by Jason DeMarco of Cartoon Network. Their bromance formed instantly, and the result was 2013's Run the Jewels and then 2014's Run the Jewels 2. Both were free releases, but Jim and Greg still said“Buy It”and added was the album to their Best of 2014 lists. This sophomore effort maintains the original's humor, but also adds more depth and more social and political commentary. Check out their special set from the new Goose Island Barrel House here in Chicago.

Go to episode 481
specials

Best Albums of 2012…So Far

Determining a year-end“Best of”album list is the highlight of a critic's year. Now that it's June, Jim and Greg get a jump on the winnowing down process with the Best Albums of 2012…So Far. Here are their mid-year best picks:

Go to episode 343
reviews
R.A.P. MusicR.A.P. Music. available on iTunes

Killer Mike R.A.P. Music.

Killer Mike made his debut with a great cameo on the 2000 Outkast record Stankonia. Now he's released his 6th album called R.A.P. Music. Jim admits this is a "gangsta rap" record, but it manages to rise above all the clichés you associate with that. Killer Mike goes back to black music's earliest influences, and his belief in the power of music is nothing short of inspirational. Greg agrees, calling R.A.P. Music a hip hop classic. He and producer El-P are celebrating hardcore rap, while spanning a huge range in terms of subject matter and sound. Killer Mike gets a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 339
Run The Jewelsundefined available on iTunes

Run The Jewels

Last year we got El-P's Cancer 4 Cure and R.A.P. Music, the album he produced for Killer Mike. Now the two come together again to form Run the Jewels and release a self-titled album. Greg hears the two rappers“blowing off steam.”But that shouldn't suggest Run The Jewels is a blow-off. It's like breathless, old-school battle rapping with great beats to boot. He says Buy It. Jim admits El-P is a genius producer, but is disappointed by the lyrical content. He hears lazy smack talk about nothing. So while Run the Jewels is free, it's still a Try It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 399
Run the Jewels 3Run the Jewels 3 available on iTunes

Run the Jewels Run the Jewels 3

Run the Jewels formed after Killer Mike enlisted El-P to produce his 2012 album R.A.P. Music and the two men immediately hit it off. Since then, the duo has released three albums, one cat remix record, and appeared on Sound Opinions. Greg says that RTJ has upped the intensity with each record, and the latest, Run the Jewels 3, is their finest yet. Greg finds both of them to be incredibly skilled emcees, providing dizzying momentum to their political calls to arms. Jim also admires their lyrics, but also notes the album's production. Musically, Run the Jewels creates an inventively dense sound collage, confirming for Jim that they are one of the most important duos in hip-hop today. Run the Jewels 3 gets a double-Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 581
lists

The Best Albums of 2012.

Jim and Greg have made their lists and checked 'em twice. Now the big moment has arrived. Without further ado: The Best Albums of 2012.

Go to episode 367