Pressing play on any of the six albums and mixtapes in the outspoken Killer Mike’s discography and you will instantly be slapped in the face with lyricism. Packed in those bars are topics as diverse as the man who utters them ranging from dreaming about sex to Black community reunification. Oh, and he’s glad Ronald Reagan is dead. Before the Morehouse College graaduate performed at Scion AV’s Open Mic event at Public Assembly in Brooklyn, he spoke exclusively with AllHipHop about a how Obama hoodwinked him, how him and producer El-P will be the modern day EPMD and more.
AllHipHop.com: You have said recently that you may be working on three albums this year. What are the differences between R.A.P. Music 2, Pledge 4 and The Elegant Elephant?
Killer Mike: Pledge is motivational music. The marriage of street knowledge and higher knowledge. The difference in this Pledge will be the quality in production. I always had dope production within the parameters I would set. This time you should hear Harry Fraud, El-P and a lot of big names. You can also expect the mixing and mastering to be top notch because Im going to be paying out of my own pocket. In terms of R.A.P. Music 2, I’ve done that as a chapter and want to see how far I can push RAP music 2. How far can I be? How stranger it can get? How darker? How angrier? How boom bapper. El-P and I are dropping a group record together this summer. It’s me and him on every record. We have aspirations of being the new EPMD. Making classic joints and being a dope duo.
AllHipHop.com: What is The Elegant Elephant?
Killer Mike: The Elegant Elephant is me. Elephants are, without being too literal in definition, these huge, scary looking creatures and the minute they start to walk it’s gentle, and effortless and beautiful. And I am trying to figure out how to put that emotion into music. As a kid I always viewed elephants as wise. The Elegant Elephant is something new and different and I know the emotion of it but I haven’t found the soundtrack for it yet. I’m chasing that. I’m chasing that like Moby Dick and I’m Captain Ahab. [Laughs]
AllHipHop.com: You are joining Big Boi on his Shoes For Running tour in April. You two have been working together for over a decade, correct?
Killer Mike: Yeah, I was his little brother’s friend in college so I have been running with him for a long time. 10, 11 years. He is a brother to me, A confidant. A mentor. We are walking living proof that reconciliation between Black men can happen and it should happen. I hope the reunion of me and Big Boi makes a great tour. On some rap fan shit I hop it makes some other guys get back together. I think we’re making dope friendships in music that we needed to make dope music. I want to see other people hook back up. I want to see fu**in’ Outkast make another album.
AllHipHop.com: What are some issues in the world right now going on that you feel like you want to touch on musically?
Killer Mike: The loss of American rights. This whole gun lobbying debate. For me, from an African American male standpoint, my overall disappointment of some of the current administration’s A really big thing for me is the legalization of marijuana. The equalization of marijuana and the attacking of it by someone I voted for twice is a real source of contention for me, so there might be a record about him.
Killer Mike: Yeah you know who I am talking about, there’s only one President. [Laughs] This doesn’t mean I’m an Obama hater. That means when our President told me to vote for him he said he’d go easy on weed. Since he’s been President they’ve got harder on weed. I’ve been tricked. Hoodwinked. Bamboozled.
AllHipHop.com: Recently it was revealed that the NYPD spent A million hours on Marijuana-related arrests
Killer Mike: All that does is further criminalize Black and brown boys. If you in New York and you’re in Manhattan you can call a weed delivery service to bring you your weed. But if you’re in Crown Heights and Washington Heights you have to go buy your weed and you’re more prone to stop and frisk, you become a marijuana statistic. That f**ks up your record and makes you not be able to get certain jobs. So I am a very much a proponent of the legalization and the equalization of marijuana.
AllHipHop.com: You said you have a strong opinion on gun control. What is your view on Christopher Dorner’s situation? Do you sympathize with him or see something different?
Killer Mike: I sympathize with any African American male that is living under this unspoken martial law for African Americans, brown people and poor people in general. I am sympathetic to the plight of the Black police officer because I am the son of a Black police officer and I know how terribly difficult it must be to reconcile the fact that you are being an agent to harass and dominate people that look like you. In terms of him personally and that situation, I do not have an opinion because I do not know everything. But what I do have is the logical thought of why are we not researching the factual stuff that he put in this “manifesto”? Beyond that my opinion is that evil always begets more evil. Police institutions, especially the LAPD and NYPD, in my lifetime, the last 20 years, it has show me very very evil acts. There is no way you can continue to foster an environment of evil and it not at some point turn itself inward.
AllHipHop.com: What are some measures you feel people can do to combat these injustices?
Killer Mike: The first thing people can do in terms of combating police harassment and brutality is that they need to stop electing these bullshit mayors. If a mayor is allowing a police force to harass and beat down your constituency they need to understand that you will find another candidate to vote for. Another way is to protest and your police chiefs. The cities where Black men and Brown men are harassed and beaten badly the police chief is a person of color. Google Atlanta, GA within the last few weeks, a Dekalb county prosecutor drops case due to lack of sufficient evidence. You’re going to watch a tape of an Atlanta police officer plant drugs on a kid. But because the cop was caught on camera, the prosecutor dropped the case on the kid. We need more people with organizing background to work as liaison between the police and the community, because the police have to have the understanding that you work for the community. You are not an agent of oppression but to serve and protect us.
AllHipHop.com: What is the difference between Hip Hop now and in the past?
Killer Mike: Hip Hop is still dope sometimes and some crazy ignorant and bullshit some days. It is the entire spectrum of young America. The thing that makes me uncomfortable about Hip Hop is elitism. Elitism is not right in any form. It si not right in regular society and it is not right in Hip Hop. Hip Hop is not for the elite, it is for the commoner. In our lust to be rich and famous or elite,we have abandoned what made us unique. Our lust to have Louis Vutton, Saint Laurent and Margiela acknowledge us we’re forgetting that we built FUBU, we made Karl Kani , we made Carhartt cool in the hood. I think that when you forget those things and you aspire for these elite things that everyone cant be apart of or have then it can start a sort of dissension between the audience . I’m not saying you can’t buy nice things, when I met Outkast they had all that s**t. But their music spoke to people who can be immediately affected by it in the hood and I think we need to hold true to that aesthetic.
AllHipHop.com: Who are some new artists you like?
Killer Mike: I like Joey Bada$$. I am a huge fan of Gunplay. Freddie Gibbs is my dude. I love Pill. I love S.L. Jones. I just heard 8 record from Pill that are incredible. He just got back to being who he was. There’s a kid called Will Thumbs Up. Will is really dope, I think he’s going to be one of those next guys.
AllHipHop.com: Most rappers get liquor companies or clothing lines but you actually started your own barbershop. Why?
Killer Mike: I got into the barber business for a few reasons. I got into the Barber business because I can immediately start making money. I can immediately hire Black men who are double the unemployment rate. I can immediately get money from the money that I put back into the community through giveaways, through sponsorships and more. I can immediately affect my community. That’s why I went into the barbershop business.
AllHipHop.com: 20 years from now when Killer Mike’s 57 years old, what do you hope to accomplish within the next 20 years?
Killer Mike: That I’ve become one of the most heralded MC’s that ever did it. Not only did I do that but I took what I rapped about and made it real. By really starting businesses. By really starting an economy. Also becoming a successful politician. By that I don’t mean a life or career politician. But someone who runs for office and makes a difference in the community.
[ALSO CHECK OUT: Killer Mike Gets Inspired On David Letterman But Gets Surprised]