Killer Mike

Killer Mike

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About Killer Mike

Killer Mike is a cross-generational Atlanta rap legend who contributed to several of the city’s game-changing movements before minting his own. Born in 1975, he famously entered the scene as an Outkast protégé, storming 2000’s Stankonia with boisterous rhymes, then helping the group win its second Grammy with a verse on 2001’s “The Whole World.” Killer Mike’s 2003 solo debut, Monster, expanded on Outkast’s emerging pop instincts. In its wake, he developed his own soul-rap style with the production duo Smiff & Cash, languishing in label purgatory but stringing together a memorable 2000s mixtape run, including snap-rap collabs and anti-establishment salvos that foreshadowed his politicized midcareer renaissance beginning with 2011’s Pl3dge. Mike and El-P, the New York rapper and producer who shaped Def Jux, conceived their acclaimed Run the Jewels partnership, starting in 2013, as something like Ice Cube’s seditious intercoastal team up with the Bomb Squad. The duo achieved that and more as their riotous industrial sound became a music festival mainstay. Mike’s voice outgrew music: He became a key Bernie Sanders advocate, regular Bill Maher guest, and hosted a Netflix show. Three years after releasing the critically acclaimed RTJ4, Killer Mike traded futuristic soundscapes for Southern sounds on his compelling autobiographical album, MICHAEL. Laced with gospel, soul, and deeply personal ruminations on his past life, the project was his most honest yet, with tracks like "SOMETHING FOR JUNKIES" presenting deeply humanizing interior views of a Black man made by the South.

Atlanta, GA, United States
April 20, 1975
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