El-P And Killer Mike Talk Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Anger As A Positive Force, And The Unlucky Fate Of Their Favorite HBO Shows
A few drinks into my conversation with Mike and El-P about their new collaboration R.A.P. Music (Williams Street), the tone shifted, as it tends to under the influence of multiple makeshift White Russians. EL-P's drink-ordering became relentlessly efficient. Things became a little more candid. The conversation veered on-and off-record, and, by the time the night was over, they ended up "covering" almost everything. From the fate of HBO's Luck to the future of Earl to what El-P originally thought of Jay-Z, here are the (publishable) highlights of The Drunken Reel.
On Killer Mike and alcohol:
El-P: Let's try and get Mike drunk. That's always fun. He's a dedicated marijuana smoker, so drinking to him is still new. When you drink with Mike, it's like drinking with a college freshman trying to pledge to some shit-eating frat. I'm like, "Mike, I'm thirty-seven, and I've been drinking way longer than you, somehow, even though you're the same age." But somehow I always end up chugging things with Mike. Just like stupid, infectious amateur alcoholism.
On Netflix gorging, the pathos of the cancelled drama, and Nick Nolte:
LP: Yeah man, I'm always looking for Netflix series that I can watch every single episode of in two days alone on my couch and naked. It sucks when you get to that one B-level BBC sci-fi series that was kinda awesome, but only lasted six episodes. I would say that maybe one of the biggest tragedies of modern television was the premature cancellation of Carnivale. That show ended on the world's most infuriating cliffhanger. Oh my god, man. Horrible.
Killer Mike: They did the same thing with Rome.
LP: HBO'll fuck you. Even when everything seems to be going right, like with Luck? The Dustin Hoffman shit? And then they cancelled it because they kept killing horses! When they canceled Luck, two horses of my heart died. They're lucky Nick Nolte didn't die. Once Nick Nolte breaks his leg, you have to shoot him.
KM: When a show is canceled, they should be required to give you a one-hour last episode.
LP: Here's my thing: if a show is doneif it's canceled, or if it ends ambiguouslywhy do people never just tell you, "this is what we figured would happen?" That's what fucking kills me.
KM: Let me tell you a show I made a mistake of getting too invested in. It was not a good show; but I got too invested. How To Make It In America. And then it ended, and I thanked God quietly.
LP: IF you have nothing left to loseif Deadwood's over, if Carnivale's overwhy not show your cards? Even if you don't know, make it up! You could at least make some more money! If I had to Paypal $5 to the show's creators to let me know "what happened," I'd do it in a second.
Actually, Mike and I had this idea that we were going to pitch with me and him as detectives. We just wanted to be detectives who fuck people up but never solve anything and have no idea what's going on at any time. We'd have a congratulatory drink at the end of every episode, pat each other on the back, when all we really did was just beat up the first person we found.
On favorite records of the year so far and the fate of Earl:
KM: No shameless plug, El's album. I actually got mad he didn't give me some of those beats. He's on his Kanye shit.
LP [Mischievously]: Hey, you know? We made Mike's record in a month, and I made mine in two and a half years. Straight up.
KM: Also, I'm anticipating loving Exquire's album, and I'm anticipating loving Kendrick's album. And, I'mma tell you whatmixtape, album, whateverI'm looking forward to Earl. Earl is the shit. I want Earl's shit to be produced. I don't want him to come out with some random shit. I want Earl to come out with a solid piece of work. I believe in that kid.
He looks like somebody just came out of jail right now. I think he's just getting acclimated. He's going to the same places he used to go and now there's a hundred kids there. That has to be freaky. The real comparison, I guess, is to some of my homeboys that have been in jail on some gang member shit. They came out, and the little set they had with twenty kids and now they've got two hundred kids waiting on them. And they're like, "Oh, shit: now I'm responsible for two hundred lives." People look at him, "We know you. And thank god you're back." And it's like, "Well, I didn't know you were here for me!"
LP: I love when people say, "El-P sounds like Odd Future." That's how I know I'm really, really old now.