20 Questions: Run The Jewels’ El-P
As a founding member of Company Flow, the co-founder of the Definitive Jux label, and the producer of a tonne of 00s alternative hip-hop records you’ve probably never heard but probably should have, El-P had already achieved a shit load before he teamed up with Atlanta powerhouse Killer Mike.
But with their undeniable chemistry, hard-hitting sound and impassioned animosity towards fuckboys, the world can’t get enough of Run The Jewels, which means that these days El constantly has to pick up the phone and speak to people like us.
What was your favourite cartoon when you were a kid?
Favourite member of Slipknot?
I respect them all equally.
Favourite member of the Wu-Tang Clan?
Again, it’s hard to say, I really fuck with them all. But I always really liked Cappadonna, that was my shit, for sure.
Last book you read?
It was a graphic novel – The Preacher.
The worst hotel you ever stayed in?
It was on the first Company Flow US tour. It was clearly a drug spot and a whore house. We spent about 20 minutes there.
If you were trying to seduce a potential lover, what music would you play?
That’s a good question man. Maybe, Digital Underground – Sex Packets.
If you could pick a surrogate grandparent, who would it be?
That’s a really good one too. Obviously he’s gone now, but I think I’d go for George Carver. He had a lot to say, he used to do drugs, I can relate to him.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
The last job I ever had. It was in the Tower Records mail order department.
So when did you work your last shift?
In 1996. I actually got fired. If I remember correctly, I actually did the classic clear the office desktop with your arms thing. But then we released the first Company Flow EP and I figured I’d never have to work again.
Who’s your favourite person to follow on Instagram?
One of my favourite photographers, Amy Touchette. She takes incredible photos of regular New Yorkers and it reminds me of what I love about my city.
"I respect all members of Slipknot equally"
Ever had any regrettable haircuts?
Oh yeah I’ve had plenty of terrible haircuts. For years I just had to shave my head because my bad hair was too traumatic, and I figured ‘fuck it’.
What’s your signature recipe?
It’s actually a tuna salad. Me and Mike have had some big salad battles. Which makes me sound pretty cool.
Gary Oldman or Gary Numan?
Really? I heard that Numan’s kind of right-wing…
I’m not voting him in for office, I just like a couple of his records!
Fair enough. Rate these acts in order of how much you like them: Danny DeVito, Danny Glover and Daniel Day-Lewis…
DeVito, Lewis, Glover. I mean, Glover will always have a place in my heart for Lethal Weapon, but it’s hard to forgive him for Predator 2 and at this point I can’t understand anything he’s saying.
When was the last time you sprinted as fast as you can?
I’m pretty good at the short distance airport sprint.
Have you ever been arrested?
I’ve been fought, but I’m lucky enough to have never been arrested.
Have you ever taken acid?
Yeah I had some really good liquid acid like five years ago.
What’s the first thing you’re doing after this interview?
NME or Crack Magazine?
I’m gonna have to go with… what was the second one?
Run The Jewels play Field Day, Victoria Park, London, 6 June