Whether it’s in his music or through his Twitter feed, it seems like New York’s El-P to always have a lot to say. And in a new interview with the Chicago Tribune‘s venerable critic Greg Kot, El has opened up about, among other things, the decision to close his label, Definitive Jux; the overall decline of record labels; and producing Killer Mike’s great new album, R.A.P. Music. Read some quotes from Kot’s piece below, or check out the entire interview here.
On closing Def Jux:
“I needed to focus on music. That was essentially it. Running the label was taking too much of my time, and ultimately detracting from my life as opposed to giving to it. It yielded some amazing records. But I believe just like with Company Flow, there is a right way to go out. You’ve got to recognize it when it’s time to go.”
On whether labels will be extinct soon:
“We’re not at that stage yet but we’re headed there. You’re gonna get music for free. Artists still need labels. But what a label is will change. It’s not as much about selling music at retail. That is just disappearing. There are no comebacks. Vinyl is a small niche market. Physical goods will be dead in the next few years. Labels are curators of taste, and the best ones know how to monetize what an artist is trying to do. The future is wide open for me. I don’t sweat it.”
On finding time to record R.A.P. Music with Killer Mike:
“I kept putting Mike off, thinking I couldn’t do it, but it turned out great – working on the Killer Mike record came at the correct time to step away from my (album) for a second. There was an energy I carried over into completing my record. My record would not be the same without that experience of working with Mike.”