I'm quite sad that I haven't been in Atlanta and therefore have missed all of Killer Mike's events surrounding the release of his anticipated PL3DGE album. Mike is absolutely my favorite guy to interview (alongside Scarface) and one of my favorite rappers. Why? He's so damn insightful and unafraid. We pretty much agree on every subject he speaks on--- from disdain for the black elite, to our thoughts about the realities of class and race in American and how to address them.
The thing for Mike, aside from having a hard time finding beats to compliment his abrasive rhyme-style, has in my opinion, been his struggle to balance his hardcore political content with music that is going to draw in average listeners-- you know, the cats that listen to Jeezy (who is featured on the album) and Gucci. It's a delicate balance that cats like Big Krit have mastered, but Mike has struggled with. Frankly, I think it's because more than just offering valid social commentary about the way things are, Mike is outright political. To be honest, to really ride to him, you have to have a certain level of awareness. Not saying you have to be a genius to understand him, but you damn well better be concerned about politics, society and the oppressed, otherwise you will likely be left behind with dude. The times when Mike attempts to lighten up and make what I guess is labeled "street music" he loses me, to be honest. It come across bland and forced. This is not to say Mike is only capable of being "political" it's simply to suggest that he's much more interesting when he is. (Randomly: he seems to be referring to himself as "Killer Mike" again and not "Mike Bigga" which is a relief).
At any rate, I just came across this piece written by Maurice Garland for TheLoop21. Basically, Mike is breaking down some of his tracks from the album, and of course, he has much to say. Here a few of my favorite quotables from the interview:
Speaking on education and the black elite ("That's Life II"): I have a general disdain for the black elite, just like how they have a disdain for the black poor. I've seen both sides. I grew up immersed between both sides, and both of them are on some bullsh*t. I'm not for black elitists trying to place blame on the black poor for the state of our community. That was my problem with Bill Cosby. If you have the money to donate $25 million to a college, don't you think it would be better suited giving it to a kindergarten class and seeing them all the way through school? If we really going to call black people to task on education, shouldn't we be starting at the seed and not the fruit?
Speaking on Pres. Obama ("Burn"): "I can't get a job but I can get arrested, thought things were changing with this Black President sh*t." I don't think anyone has the balls to say that. That's not a condemnation of our president, but, people really thought the sea was going to part when he got elected. I'm telling people that he is not a myth, he is a decent politician at best. It is beautiful to see someone who looks like you leading the country, but at the end of the day, I can't get a job.
Speaking on black churches ("Burn" & "That's Life II"): "I'm going at the church because I really don't think they are doing their people right. Churches should not be in ghettos and have the money buy cars and have the church beautified, but no one owns the complex across the street.
Speaking on drugs and politics ("American Dreams"): I have an adoration for the Bush family. From what I read, the father of George Bush didn't come from money. He married up and schemed and connived to get to the top. In political circles people are fond of Joe Kennedy for making the transition into politics from getting rich off whiskey during prohibition. The Bushes and Kennedys are looked as our Royal Families. That said, you're not going to tell me to not admire a drug dealer. I don't admire what happens to our communities because of drugs, no way. But, the same moral character it takes to run a criminal ring, it takes to organize a labor union or set up a system where you can switch votes and redistrict zones to your favor. I admire dealers the same way they admire Rumsfeld and Cheney.
Here's hoping he gets his own talk show.