El-P Talks ‘Cancer For Cure,’ ‘R.A.P. Music’ With Killer Mike

    A double-dose of Killer Mike and El-P? Why not? Dudes have a joint album coming out, R.A.P. Music, on May 15. Then, just one week later, we’ll be hearing El’s latest solo album in Cancer For Cure. As such, we’re going to fit in all the coverage out there today on both of those albums into one post.

    First, we have El’s interview with Pitchfork, which finds him discussing the work that went into R.A.P. Music and Cancer For Cure. His thoughts on the latter are as follows:

    Pitchfork: Did anything happen in your personal life in the past five years that inspired this record?

    El-P: My very good friend passed away, and that made its way into who I was when I was making the album. It was hard for me to wrap my head around; it got me thinking about death and living a lot. Something like that is so big that you almost don’t want to approach it directly. So the album process started out with a tragedy, and I ended up with a record about wanting to live. 

    In my head, the record is about dealing with the idea that you are the problem and everything else isn’t. That’s the “Cancer for Cure”. We have that destruction in us, whether we run with it or not. I have a tendency to dip my foot in self-destructive behavior. I struggle with that, but it’s also a world perspective. There’s a segment of the world that looks at the average individual like me and you as the problem– something to be solved, an annoyance or a blight on an otherwise potentially perfect world. All the mechanisms and manifestations of that line of thought are in all the shit that’s going on right now. This is a fight record. Like, “Goddamn it. Enough is fuckin’ enough.”

    And here’s his thoughts on R.A.P. Music:

    Pitchfork: How was working with Killer Mike on his new album, R.A.P. Music?

    El-P: It was one of my favorite creative music experiences ever. Mike says it all the time, and I agree with him: It’s like Ted Turner paid us to become friends. [Williams Street Records, a division of the Turner-owned Cartoon Network, is releasing the album May 15.] We were looking at records like AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted and thinking about how Ice Cube left N.W.A. and went to the East Coast. He hooked up with the Bomb Squad, and that yielded this amazing combination of sounds. That’s what we were going for. In my opinion, Mike has always been one of the great living rappers, but he hasn’t had that record that’s put him over the top. I think this record will do it for him.

    Head over to Pitchfork to read the rest of the interview. Below, you can watch an interview with Killer Mike — El-P shows up for a lil’ bit — at SXSW.