Remember Jay-Z’s adlibs on dead prez’s “Hell Yeah (Pimp the System)”?
“We together on the same track now, baby, Whatchu gone call us now?”
In those two phrases, Jay summed up the revolutionary act that he, Stic Man and M-1 were undertaking by combining a respected “underground” mainstay with a “mainstream” MC who had taken his talents from the block to the Grammy awards. In the ten years since that track dropped, the lines between underground and mainstream have blurred, but the first full track released off Killer Mike and El-P’s R.A.P. Music album brings back the classic formula from “Hell Yeah”, except that the unlikely duo decided to triple up on the MC side of the proceedings.
Given Mike’s 2010 collaboration with Flying Lotus and his standing relationship with Adult Swim, it’s not quite as much of a stretch as one might think for him to do a full project with El Producto, but when you add T.I. and Uncle Bun to the mix, the combination is mind-boggling. Throw in Trouble on the hook for good measure and it’s enough to make a backpacker’s head explode.
Oh, and the song itself? Absurd. El-P served up a clattering, power chord fest that builds throughout each verse and complements all four MC’s voices, and every verse is strong. Highlights include Killer’s welcome-slash-warning to those visiting his city, a tale about a young Bun B soaking up game on the front porch, and T.I.’s proclamation that he’s “Amerik-k-ka’s nightmare…trap n****a’s fantasy.” I’m not sure what you expected from a Killer Mike/El-P album, but I’ll bet you didn’t see this one coming.
Killer Mike Feat. Bun B, Trouble & T.I. – “Big Beast” (Prod. By El-P)