Do you think you’re getting used to touring at such a frantic pace?
“I think as much as you can get used to it, we are. I’m a pretty easy going guy so it’s not that hard for me anyway. I’m cool with doing different stuff everyday and the frantic packing and repacking. I do pretty okay with it.”
What has been the most surreal moment for you so far?
“Honestly they all are, I’m such a nerd about it. Madison Square Garden was crazy.Maybe Letterman. We got to play that twice which was awesome.”
When we last talked you told me how you saw Killer Mike’s phone number in a magazine, rang it and unexpectedly ended up working with him. What was said during that call that landed you the job ?
“Well I didn’t expect it to be him. I thought it would like a fan line where you leave your email address after the beep to get new updates or whatever. Just something like that with a personalised message from Mike. So I thought ‘I’d like to hear Killer Mike’s fan line, it might be interesting’. All of a sudden he answers the phone and I had to come up with something to say because I didn’t have a plan So I introduced myself, told him that I was playing his records in St. Louis, which records and what type of responses they were getting. I was really heavy into mixtapes then, I was doing about 20 a year so it was natural for me to ask him if he wanted to do a mixtape. On the spot, I came up with the idea of a Best of Killer Mike and asked him to host and he said he was down. Everything else proceeded from there and it’s been pretty crazy!”
Are you a big record collector?
“Yeah definitely. I mean, I don’t have as many as I used to or as many as other people do, but I definitely have a few thousand. I buy records regularly; it’s definitely my main hobby. If we’re on a bus tour, I’m able to buy records all the time”
What was the first record you ever bought?
“The first record I ever bought new was Wu Tang Forever and a reissue of Protect Your Neck. Which is crazy because I got that signed by seven members when we opened for them in Utah.”
Who has had your favourite solo career out of all of Wu Tang?
“I mean, it’s pretty not to give it to Ghostface, but they’ve all had great solo careers. We toured with GZA and it was one of the coolest things I’ve gotten to do for sure. It’s hard not to say Method Man too. I really love Tical, I feel more than most, and he’s done so many great guest appearances over the years.”
It’s rare to see an act stand by their DJ as much as Run the Jewels have with you. Why do you think that is?
“They’re both loyal guys. They’re both loyal guys in all sides of all life. They’re loyal to their families; they’ve stuck with their managers for long time. They know whose down for them because they were down before big things happened. That’s just how they are. I’m really grateful because I see other artist/DJ relationships that don’t last at all.”
How long has your clothing line Rap Fan been on the go?
“Since summer 2012 during the first Killer Mike/El –P tour. I wanted to come up with a brand that was as true to me as possible and something I’d still want to wear and be proud of in 5 or 10 years. Not something that was trendy or taking advantage of a moment.”
Have you ever tried to rap or was being a DJ always the priority?
“At first I was definitely just a fan. I kind of started DJing by default because I tried to rap but it wasn’t serious. I never thought I had the voice for it and I dint have the passion to do it that I feel that you should have to do that. I didn’t feel like I had anything to say. I started DJing in college for the radio station and that gave me access to all these records I wanted to listen to.”
Who are your top 3 producers of all time? (Excluding El-P)
What has been your favourite album of 2015 so far?
“I really like Oddisee’s album. I listen to that a lot. Action Bronson and Earl Sweatshirt too. There are songs on Drake’s album that I listen to more than a lot of stuff but I don’t really listen to the whole project. But as a complete album, Joey Badass might take it.”
What’s your favourite track to perform every gig?
“Well the cheating answer would be Pew Pew Pew because that’s where my scratch solo is. ‘Get It’ is pretty hard to bear with Mike dancing and I get to cut quite a bit on there too. I might say Oh My Darling (Don’t Cry)’ though. It’s towards the beginning of the show and it’s really when everything comes together with the excitement of the first song and then second one is off the new record so I think I’d go for that.”
Who scratched on ‘Go!’ from R.A.P Music?
“That was DJ Abilities. It was crazy when I found out because I heard the scratches and they were super dope. I’m Madison, Wisconsin so I’ve got Abilities mixtapes on cassette.”
Did you catch Rusangano Family during their support set at the last RTJ gig in Dublin?
“I thought they were really dope. They were one of the best opening acts we’ve had. Great energy, nice kids. Some of the beats are crazy.”
If you only had 3 albums to bring on holiday what would they be?
“DJ Shadow – Entroducing, Wu Tang Forever, ATLienes. I always say you’ll never like any music more than the music you were listening to the first summer you were getting stoned.”