BLVR: In many ways, hip-hop was born out of the desire for community, and the seizure of public space to create it: throwing jams in the park, writing on the trains. Today, public space is in decline, all over the country. I wonder what hip-hop loses by being more and more virtual.

PM: Without that kind of live interaction you’re talking about, the electricity is gone. This conversation is bringing me back to so many other conversations. I had a conversation with Nas a couple of years ago and he was saying, “Yo, you remember when such-and-such song was out and we would go and see them perform and there would be this energy and this electricity?” The virtual shit has deadened that actual transference of energy somewhat. When people can create a professional-level song without really having to test it and perform it, they lose: they don’t have the experience of seeing how an audience responds, and learning how to implement that shit into the record. This is why you have these veterans lasting.