Killer Mike is a grown up hip hop artist, thinking about serious stuff. He and El-P ran through the Combat Jack show and came off with this nice little exchange.
1. Notice the fundamentals, Dallas Penn sets this off. I don’t love his consumerist Polo identity, but there is no discounting how smart and insightful that guy really is. If you aren’t reading and donating to Dallas Penn’s web site, you aren’t living right.
2. Good interviewers. Ask the question and get out of the way. Combat Jack is serious, Dallas Penn is serious. That means listening when ideas are flowing.
3. How about two grown men getting honest with each other? El-P telling Killer Mike he is just starting his career. Killer Mike talking about having to expose parts of his vulnerabilities and fears to work with El.
Updated a few days later . . . May 9, 2013. Part 3 is out.
El-P, Killer Mike, Combat Jack, and Dallas Penn. The third clip is a conversation about race. Nice discussion.
1. For those educators out there looking for an example of a “race pass” check out Dallas Penn saying to El-P: “I don’t call you a white rapper.”
Absolutely on point, El-P rejects the offer of the card. “I’m a white guy, I rap. There’s no question about it.” Just because you are cool doesn’t mean that you don’t have privilege. And leave it to Killer Mike to remind us of that. When asked about white-identified rap fans Killer Mike responds:
“I’m not saying their experience isn’t worthy, I’m not saying it isn’t valuable. I’m saying it’s not special. Because every human being experiences love and pain and let down. Your thing is no more special. And a lot of times, as Americans, and in this country, we feel like our suffering makes us special. You are special because you are a human being.” – Killer Mike
3. This argument is a dumb prompt from Combat Jack. I think it might be a kind of policing — because of Killer Mike’s reference in segment one to his increasing vulnerability. I appreciate all the examples of great black emcees who recorded some vulnerable verses that are quickly volunteered by the panelists.