AllHipHop.com: Youre from Atlanta. Im from New York. You killed Hip-Hop. Speak on it.
Killer Mike: [Laughs] If I killed Hip-Hop, what the f**k did the jiggy era bring to the game? [Laughs] Let me tell you something, Hip-Hop aint dead its growing. A lot of people in Hip-Hop are getting old theres nothing wrong with that because at least we know well have 40 and 50 year old people listening to Hip-Hop and Ive waited on this day. But, in regards to Hip-Hop being dead, as I remember there are four elements to Hip-Hop: you have rap, you have dance, you have graffiti, you have DJing. Mike Watts is a what? Snap music is driven by what? Me, T.I., Wayne, Jeezy do what very well? Everything in the South even down to freestyle flows out in Texas everything we do here is based around on one of the basic principles of Hip-Hop. So my argument is simply where is Hip-Hop dead?
Look at everybody who f**ked with the South out of New York: 50 came out said his s**t sounds southern, did 50 do well? Fat Joe is known for f**king with the South, did he do well? The Dipset has been f**king with the South since s**t I was in their first video, did they do well? You see, we f**k with whoever f**ks with us because we too dumb and country to know any better. We wouldnt even know anybody hated us if they wouldnt have said they hated us. But guess what? We dont give a f**k! Because for 15 years, nobody gave a f**k about what we were doing. Nobody gave a fuck about Kilo, Luke and 2 Live Crew, Outkast when they boo-ed them, 8Ball and MJG, UGK until Big Pimpin, Juvenile when he was originally on DJ Jimmys tapes, Triple 6 [Mafia] before the Oscars they didnt give a f**k about a lot of shit, so we were forced to give a f**k about ourselves.
When I first heard Hip-Hop it didnt give a damn where I was from because it spoke to me in a way that no music has ever spoken to me before. Its whatever though. I dare a n***a to come f**k with us lyrically now, Ill tell you that. And I did Rap is Dead three years ago so Im a little taken aback. Im not mad about it, because any conversation in Hip-Hop besides who sold the most records is a f**king great conversation. I thank Nas for being a conduit for that conversation. Please print that. We started to sound like old White men arguing about motherfuckin baseball. I didnt give a f**k what Pac sold; Pac moved me.
AllHipHop.com: What other conversations should start having in Hip-Hop? Where do you think Hip-Hop is gonna go?
Killer Mike: We just celebrated 30 years, first off. Beyond Hip-Hop is the only Black music, besides Gospel, to say, Nah, we aint gonna get pimped. If you look at a Gospel artists and Country artists, they walk amongst there people. They go shopping with them, in the mall, selling CDs and what not Hip-Hop does that too. But Hip-Hop said, Nah, dog. Youre not about to motherf**kin pimp me. Youre not gonna cut the deal and Im not gonna be a part of the deal. What I see next for Hip-Hop is growth economically and being a fundamental resource. I listen to NPR a lot, I heard that the diamond companies had done a great job of getting people to buy stones that were bigger than three carats. De Beers aint did a good job at that by themselves. They were assistant by a hood dude out of New Orleans named Bryan Baby Williams. He and a group of little skinny boys from New Orleans created a term called Bling Bling. They created a fad of wearing ridiculously huge diamonds. So what happens when a bunch of White women see these country-ass n***as wearing these huge stones? What do you think they turn to their white rich-ass husbands and say? You get where Im going now? They arent saying I saw the new diamond commercial I want to get a four carat stone. No, what do they say? I want to get some bling bling. Therefore Jay-Z is a prophet in that he did this. He stopped predicting the future and started dictating the future. A lot of us pre-dictate the future Ice Cube pre-dictated that the Watts Riots were gonna happen. Jay-Z dictated Roc-A-Fella clothing line and wield it to be. Rap is the only American music to put forth action through words. It expects its participants to be business people, to be astute, and expects you to become a man. The audience expects every rapper to own a business, am I lying? I dont expect Aretha Franklin to own a business. I dont expect Little Richard to own a business. The expectation on us is to be leaders.
AllHipHop.com: Being that Hip-Hop started as a social movement in the Black community, how do you feel whats happening in the community as an artist with Rap not taking an active role. Meaning, you wont hear a song promoted about Katrina, Sean Bell, or the elderly woman in Atlanta as quickly as youd hear the latest beef record.
Killer Mike: You dont own rap no more. Its not owned by us no more. Thats why theres a William Wallace in check now. You got cooning, but f**k who killed rap
AllHipHop.com: What if the argument is who sold rap?
Killer Mike: Who sells the images of rappers to companies? You got an artist who does business with these companies and makes money. But does he keep his integrity in any of the business that he does? When Ice Cube did a deal with St. Ides, Ice Cube made St. Ides donate money to the community. Did any other rappers do this in their deals? You get what Im saying? Its not that these businessmen are demons the magazines give them so much s**t, and its not right. These businessmen can only help his client do everything they name. But, he cannot give his clients integrity. Im not trying to go at anybody, Im trying to solve a crime: at what point did we lose control? Whats happening to rap now has happened to graffiti before. Graffiti has been exploited already, hence, they are more protective of their art. They have already went through being all the rave in the New York art scene and then being the step children. Break dancers have been exploited in the same way. Remember the 80s? Remember those corny ass commercials? What happened to all those kids after break-dancing wasnt cool no more? What Im saying is the exploitation of rap is not going to happen that hard, quick and fast because we have voice.
If we dont seize the control we have, its gonna become Kenny G Jazz and not Miles Davis Jazz. Rap is something that can be bled longer. They can bleed it slow its worth more. We gotta protect that, assume some control, make sure that much more creative things get out there. If Hip-Hop is dead because Atlanta has assumed control, Id love to Nas bring the original Juice Crew to give a free show and educate the kids on Hip-Hop. I love to be a part of anything. I had Afrika Bambaatas image in my first video. Im a member of the rap fraternity now. A member [for] three years or member 30 years Im a member all the same. Along with creating this dialogue, what are we all going to be responsible for? Im going to be responsible for making sure battle rap keeps living. Were doing this thing called Kill the Mic. It aint about nothing but bustin your ass off in a freestyle and well put it on a Grind Time tape and put it out. It aint about money or nothing we just want you to come and Kill the Mic.
AllHipHop.com: What do you feel that Hip-Hop listeners need to do preserve Hip-Hop?
Killer Mike: Diversify what they listen to, open their f**kin mind. Stop letting people tell them who the f**k they are. All yall who listen to conscious rap, the conscious rappers f**k White girls and spend amazing amounts of money at the strip clubs too. Everybody who listens to trap rap and think these n***as are still in the street no. These motherf**kers have White attorneys and counselors; and yup, they date White girls too. And they hiding their money in something more than a Nike box. Theres the truth of it all. We all are a lot more 2Pac-ish then we want to admit. Because were pulled, were men, we have faults. The audience needs to stop being so polarized. I bought A Tribe Called Quest, Snoop, Prince, N.W.A., Geto Boys, Luke 2 Live Crew everything that I liked at that time at my life through any time of my life. What I did was never allow anyone to tell me what I should be. Yall really dont wanna know what a trap look, feel, tastes, smell like. So its cool if yall like more then trap music. Yall really dont wanna be George Jackson that dont mean you dont hold any of his ideals. Yall really dont wanna be Huey. Why? Cause yall wanna have a Lexus. But its okay for you to listen to whoever you want to listen to. Im sick of people who are conscious acting as though its some shame in buying diamonds or gold; yet, they wear $500 sneakers and $800 blue jeans with $13,000 glasses. None of that s**t can you take to a pawn shop. You can take at least jewelry, and thats just common sense at the end of the day. Its just a little pretentious and snobbish that that audience chooses not to support street rap. Its a little stupid of street rap, or the audience that listens to street rap, to act as though there arent dire consequences and that maybe they need to educate them-f**kin-selves past the trap. When you get banged up, everyone you call got a better education that you: your lawyer, your uncle that knows a lawyer you feel what Im saying? Its time for that dumb s**t to die. Its okay to like a lot of different s**t. But its not cool to only dictate your life by only one persons set of rules and standards, and thats what you do when you only listen to one artist. All youre doing is buying a campaign slogan. Rap is more libertarian than it is Democratic or Republican.