I’m not gonna waste time talking about Run the Jewels and their lauded sophomore release “Run the Jewels 2” — it’s a great record, but I will fully admit that a lot of my music listening these days is done in the presence of my 4-year old son, and RTJ is a little too aggro for what we typically listen to. I’m still in a place where every time I listen to that record, it’s with the freshness of hearing it for the first time — and who knows, I may not have even gotten through the full album at this point either.
But I did just listen to Killer Mike and El-P on NPR’s solid hip-hop podcast “Microphone Check.” I have a constant backlog of podcasts at this point, I’ve gone from commuting 90-120min a day to less than 30min, and am letting go of my old drive-time friends very slowly. I was excited to hear this episode when it dropped in November, but it didn’t hit my commute until January. It was worth the wait, it’s great to hear Mike and Jaime talk about their weird situation — how many rappers hit their commercial stride when they’re in their late 30s? After a couple decades of underground success? With teenage audiences? NPR host Frannie Kelley asks them early on to comment on a reviewer’s take that their career path has been “bittersweet,” and does so in a way that would kinda lead them to deny it…but they both embrace it, and talk about their success with a humility and sincerity that’s really endearing. I loved hearing them talk about that newfound success, their interaction with social media, and what their 20 year old kids have to say. The hour goes by really quickly, it made me wanna seek out more, even if it’s just to learn more about Killer Mike’s barbershop and non-rap commercial ventures. Great stuff!