Cry­ing is fine. Wor­ry­ing, not so much. The hip-hop duo lay down their rules for liv­ing.

Q (UK) - - Contents -

1 BE­WARE PEO­PLE WHO TALK ABOUT THEM­SELVES IN THE THIRD PER­SON El-P: This per­son is not to be trusted. They have lost their grip on re­al­ity, and their ego has trans­formed merely from a side-ef­fect of their in­se­cu­ri­ties into a world view.

2 STYLE IS SUB­STANCE El-P: Learn about style. Get into your art form with the de­sire to con­trib­ute to the lex­i­con of what that craft is about. That takes re­search and un­der­stand­ing. Killer Mike: There is no per­fect style. Like Bruce Lee said with [ hy­brid mar­tial art] Jeet Kune Do, you take the best of all you ex­pe­ri­ence.

3 IT’S OK TO CRY KM: There’s no guard on my eyes. If I feel it, I cry. I cried when I saw those black moms march through the Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion last year. I just broke down. El-P: We will cry on you. I’m a guy who prides him­self on not cry­ing, but he gets me ev­ery once in a while.

4 TELL YOUR FRIENDS HOW YOU FEEL El-P: The quicker you re­alise that your wealth is in the peo­ple around you, the bet­ter off you’re go­ing to be. It’s what’s driven Run The Jew­els. Noth­ing but good shit has come from my friend­ship with this dude. For me to be shy about that, or not even point it out, would be false.

5 EM­BRACE YOUR FREE­DOM KM: There’s a bunch of shit [ go­ing on in the world]. To us it’s Trump, to you guys it’s Brexit, in In­dia it’s na­tion­al­ism that’s get­ting Nige­rian kids jumped on. Gov­ern­ments, na­tions, cul­tures, all of this stuff that we agree upon, it’s all imag­i­nary. You’re born free – you are free when you stop agree­ing to the agree­ment that doesn’t ex­ist. If we re­ally want war to stop to­mor­row, 18- year-old boys would only have to say, ‘We’re not go­ing to kill each other any more.’ There would be no armies left.

6 NEVER COM­PRO­MISE El-P: Com­pro­mise only means do­ing some­thing you don’t want to do with your art. I had to go down a re­ally hard route so that not com­pro­mis­ing ac­tu­ally put money in my pocket – Def Jux [ la­bel founded by El-P] de­stroyed me fi­nan­cially. I’ve never of­fered com­pro­mise as a pos­si­bil­ity, but then I wasn’t in the same sit­u­a­tion as Mike where I was signed to a ma­jor la­bel [ Killer Mike’s 2003 de­but came out on Columbia]… KM: That shit sucked, bro. It was just the worst. If that works for you, I don’t be­grudge that. Be­ing on a ma­jor la­bel has worked very fuck­ing well for [ Killer Mike as­so­ciates] OutKast. The world is a bet­ter place be­cause of OutKast!

7 STAY (PO­LIT­I­CALLY) ACTIVE KM: I’ve been po­lit­i­cal since I was 15 years old. Fall in love with the prin­ci­ples [ that mat­ter to you] and see those through so, no mat­ter who the phys­i­cal leader is, the con­cept lives on. I sup­port the [ or­gan­i­sa­tion born from Bernie San­ders’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign] Our Rev­o­lu­tion move­ment. Ul­ti­mately, I knew, whether Bernie San­ders won or lost, I was go­ing to keep fight­ing the fight that he has for 50 years. I’m go­ing to be sit­ting down to talk with him again soon.

8 THERE’S NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY OF DO­ING THINGS El-P: It ain’t like the old days any more, where you have the ma­jor la­bels ver­sus the in­de­pen­dents ar­gu­ment. None of that mat­ters now. What re­ally mat­ters is that you walk into what­ever sit­u­a­tion you’re walk­ing into with your fuck­ing eyes open. Me and Mike? We give our shit away for free! I would never tell any­one that that’s how you should do it. That’s just how we do it.

9 STOP WOR­RY­ING KM: I never un­der­stood when my grand­par­ents used to tell me to stop wor­ry­ing, but I get it now. Take care of the shit that needs tak­ing care of, but you can’t sit around and worry. Shit you did in the past is gone, and the fu­ture may never hap­pen – just be in the mo­ment. 10 DON’T LIMIT WHAT IN­SPIRES YOU EL-P: Don’t de­cide that you’ve fig­ured out what the right ver­sion of art is – leave room to be changed by some­thing you didn’t ex­pect. What you’re do­ing now should never sound ex­actly like what you were do­ing 10 years ago.

Bernie San­ders: Killer Mike will keep fight­ing his fight.

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