In part one of a two-part conversation, the prolific rapper discusses Hip-Hop music’s ability to be used as a tool of protest, empowerment, and social change.
MIchael Render, a.k.a. Killer Mike, made his music debut appearing on the OutKast track “Snappin’ & Trappin'” from their 2000 album Stankonia, and later appeared on their 2001 single “The Whole World”, which won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. After signing to Columbia Records, his first single, “A.D.I.D.A.S.,” made waves on the music charts in 2003, and the subsequent album, Monster, cemented his place among Hip-Hop’s most prolific voices. Three years later, he released the first volume of his mixtape series I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind, which he would follow up with two other acclaimed installments. His 2012 effort R.A.P. Music was produced exclusively by producer El-P, with whom he would partner up to create the rap duo, Run the Jewels. They would release their first album as a duo in 2013, and their 2014 followup, Run the Jewels 2, was hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as the best Hip-Hop album of the year.
Part two of our conversation with the influential rap artist about how Hip-Hop music can be used as a tool for political and social change.