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Interview:
Rap duo Run The Jewels finds its footing on second album
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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There was plenty of excitement when rapper Killer Mike and MC/producer El-P got together as Run The Jewels in 2013. But last month's arrival of "Run The Jewels 2" makes a more striking, and even more welcome, statement about the duo's intentions.

"After ('Run The Jewels') we went out and toured, and people were like, 'When's 2?' " recalls Killer Mike (real name Michael Render), 39. "That's what made it a real rap group, when kids who were coming to the show ewere like, 'Ok, when's 2?' That's when we knew Run The Jewels was more than just our tribute to rap groups; this IS a rap group.

"The first album was our tribute to what rap we though rap groups should be on a landscape where there were no more rap groups and the industry isn't encouraing that there be more rap groups. So now we have situation where we enjoy working together, making dope (stuff), and we're gonna keep doing it."

The roots of RTJ were planted when El-P (nee Jaime Meline) produced Killer Mike's 2012 album "R.A.P. Music" and he returned the favor on the song "Tougher Colder Killer" for El-P's "Cancer 4 Cure" collection. And while the "Run The Jewels" album was comprised mostly of tracks El-P already had in motion, "2" -- which features guest appearances by Gangsta Book, blink-182's Travis Barker, Boots and a rare cameo by Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la Rocha -- represents the duo's full collaborative powers.

"There was a precedent; we went in knowhing what we had," explains El-P, who's also 39. So we took it a little bit more seriously; we knew the next step was a potential disaster or a potential milesone. We wante dto make a classic and grow and make a classic album like 'De La Soul is Dead' or (A Tribe Called Quest's) 'Low End Theory' and give ourselvs a legacy.

"And also everything on this record was made FOR this record. I love the first one, but it wasn't created or crafted from the beginnig with Mike and me in mind; it was just music I waas making and already had in one form or another. This one's very much going in and starting from scratch, and so I think it lent itself to the sound and cohesion of it."

Run The Jewels, Ratking and Despot

Tuesday, Nov. 25. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.

Tickets are $29.

Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.




Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

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