Tag Archives: Killer Mike


Killer Mike said a lot of true things in this interview but this one is the most relevant to rap music.

How do you tell musicians who escaped the grips of poverty that they should rap about social issues when they’re trying to buy their mother a house? They’re trying to get the hell out of the ghetto themselves. The people that they’re rapping to and rapping for, they experience five, six, seven days of hate, of pain, of psychological torture. They experience that. They don’t even wanna hear about it anymore sometimes. They just want to escape. They escape through the fantasy of “I drive a big car. I have a big house. I’m a boss. Nobody can tell me what to do.” That music can be as therapeutic as recognizing there’s a big problem and speaking about it.



I’m not sure how many rappers besides Killer Mike can be this compelling and look this credible in both of these contexts.  I’m not saying he’s the only dude who can pull off talking about scoring Viagra off his grandpa in one video and posing as a beheaded Holofernes (and/or John the Baptist?) in another, but he’s gotta be on a pretty short list.

Killer Mike – A.D.I.D.A.S. (feat. Big Boi)

Killer Mike & El-P – Untitled

After seeing the shocking powerlessness depicted in 8Ball’s “Lucky’s Theme Song” video from last month, I think I’d put him on that list too.  And maybe Biggie.  That might be it though.  Thoughts?

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More driving on the west coast has yielded more musical surprises.  This time, we were checkin’ out some southern California cats that I’ve been a fan of for a while now, but had neglected their more recent album, so I happened to hear this song for the first time yesterday.

Sa-Ra – Just Like A Baby

Sa-Ra has done a better job than almost anybody at taking funk into the 21st century, but this track happens to be reaching more into the past than in the future.

Sly & the Family Stone – Just Like A Baby

I feel like I know this song inside and out, it’s from possibly my favorite Sly Stone album, There’s A Riot Goin’ On.  And interestingly enough, this is not the only modern-day interpretation of a song from this album.  Check out this time warp.

Sly & the Family Stone – Runnin’ Away

Big Boi, Sleepy Brown, & Killer Mike – Runnin’ Away

And if you want a little more convincing about the significance of this album, you should check out what ?uestlove has to say about it in this really interesting article Matt turned me onto about funk/soul/hip-hop concept albums.  Maybe I need to not avoid Pitchfork so hard, that article is damn interesting.

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A while back, this Sly and the Family Stone tribute album came out called Different Strokes By Different Folks, and it basically consisted of a bunch of modern-day artists covering, sampling, and generally re-working a bunch of old Sly Stone songs.  Like most albums of this type, it gets a little weird at times, but overall I’ve always been pretty into it.  I hadn’t thought about it much for a while though until Trent sent me this video, which is just beautiful.

The Roots – Star

That one’s probably the song on that album that’s least like the original, but they really keep the concept intact and bring it to the present day, and I think they do a damn good job of it.  And that video really seals the deal, in my opinion, and I had no idea it existed until today.  Thanks Trent!

I just wish the reworking of “Runnin’ Away” from that album got a video too, cuz it’s one of my favorite Sly and the Family Stone songs, and it’s definitely my favorite track on that tribute album.

Big Boi – Runnin’ Away (feat. Sleepy Brown & Killer Mike)

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