In the clip, El-P and Killer Mike recalled growing up in the Eighties when rap was coming into its own and hard rock was still a dominant force in popular music. El-P said his early musical diet consisted of bands like Gang of Four, the Melvins and Suicide, as well as “heavy” hip-hop outfits like Run-D.M.C., EPMD and Public Enemy. Killer Mike said he once saw Metallica and Run-D.M.C. on tour in the same summer, and noted that he was introduced to Black Sabbath through the infamous wrestling tag team, the Road Warriors.
“I was into just, like, rage,” Mike said. “Early rap and metal provided an outlet so you didn’t have to go to school and be angry. You could get it all out playing the music loud in your room.”
Run the Jewels also touched on the myriad ways hip-hop and metal have overlapped since the Eighties, citing groups like Rage Against the Machine and Linkin Park, and pioneers like Ice-T, who was both a gangsta rap forefather and frontman of the metal group, Body Count. El-P also spoke about genre-hopping in his own career, whether he was collaborating with the Mars Volta or Trent Reznor, or digging through prog and rock records when crafting his earliest beats.
“As a genre, as a culture, we’ve always been really explorative,” El-P said. “Everyone could kind of tailor what they did with hip-hop music to the other tastes that they had.”