Skip to main content

Killer Mike on His Pre-Run The Jewels Solo Rap Career: "That Shit’s Fucking Lonely"

"If I want to be a solo artist, [I’ll] just rap in the shower by myself."

In honor of the five-year anniversaries of their last solo albums, Killer Mike (R.A.P. Music) and El-P (Cancer 4 Cure) recently sat down for an interview with Mass Appeal to discuss the genesis of Run The Jewels and the difference between operating as a solo artist and as a member of a group.

While their union has undoubtedly elevated their respective careers to a higher level, Mike and El-P both experienced solo success prior to the June 2013 release of Run The Jewels.

Does this mean they miss working as solo artists?



5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

Press play on new titles from Paper Route EMPIRE, FAVE, Damedot, Che Noir, and Teddy Swims.


Bairi Is Here to Feed Her Fans

The R&B singer talks about rewarding her Audiomack Supporters.


JID, Duke Deuce & Erica Banks: Best of the Week

Best of the Week highlights the latest and greatest on Audiomack across genres and the globe.

"That shit’s fucking lonely," Mike said. "If I want to be a solo artist, [I’ll] just rap in the shower by myself. I love the solo career I’ve had. It has been very cool, very fun, very rewarding. And I love being a part of this group even more than I have any other part of my career. Getting a chance to be truly free, to be truly encouraged, to go the distances we have, to work with a producer who is one of the best in the world, and to have him as my friend and compadre and making music: it is just the perfect situation."

Unlike most successful rap groups in hip-hop history—Wu-Tang Clan, N.W.A, Goodie Mob—whose members have splintered after years of working together to begin their career, Mike and El-P came together to form Run The Jewels after years of solo work. 

"We came into a group out of solo records, so that part of our ego got kind of left there and we have dedicated ourselves fully to being the most kick-ass rap group in the world," Mike continued. "And I hope we’re accomplishing that on the other side of the microphone."

Having released three acclaimed albums just four years into their joint career, I'd say Mike and El-P are on the right path.



Run the Jewels Want to Drop "RTJ3" This Year, Get F*cking Hyped

Killer Mike says the best duo in rap are working on what will (hopefully) be one of the best rap albums of 2016.


How Killer Mike's 'R.A.P. Music' Created The Blueprint For Run The Jewels

The first collaborative project between Mike and El is proof positive that the two were born to work together.


Imagining a Killer Mike & Logic Collaborative Album

Please hip-hop Gods, let an album happen.


Killer Mike Says RTJ's "Talk to Me" is the "Soundtrack to WW3 & the Apocalypse"

One of the most exciting musical duos in recent memory is looking for a 3-peat with their upcoming album.