Killer Mike - PL3DGE

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On "PL3DGE," Killer Mike shows off all sides and brings forth arguably his most complete project to date.

Somewhere among the demand for social equality that you see in Chuck D, the aggressive delivery that DMX had, and Jeezy’s energy, stands Mike Bigga (a/k/a Killer Mike). On PL3DGE he shows off all sides, and brings forth arguably his most complete project to date.

The album begins with the incredible energy that Mike Bigga is known for on “So Glorious.”  Lyrics like, “To son me, you gonna have to get a Bun B / Because the Pimp C in me won’t let you punk me” are the type of subtle but dope lyrics that not just honor Mike’s forefathers but forewarn anyone who thinks his allegiance to his grind isn’t 24/7. The very next track, “That’s Life 2” shows Killer Mike at his best as he delves into Oscar Grant’s death, Jesus Christ, and Fox News. The track's variety of subject matter comes together perfectly and Mike never loses focus. It's tracks like this that separate Mike from his peers. While artists attempt to brand themselves socially conscious, their inability to create a complete narrative on a subject matter fails them more times than not. Mike shows that he is more Chuck D than most of those who are grasping for that title.

“Burn,” a modern day “By the Time I Get to Arizona” has the potential to cause a riot or start a conversation. Throughout PL3DGE, Killer Mike is comfortable doing either, demonstrating the utter importance of how production needs to match the album's tone. Sweatbox Productions bring board work that honors Mike’s energy with "Burn" which resonates perfectly with Mike's political tone. Meanwhile No I.D. continues to show why he is a must have on any album with "Ready Set Go" (and the remix) - providing Mike Bigga with a commercial smash that any emcee would risk a limb for, while staying true to the emcee's grit. While there are a few missteps with production, such as “God in the Building II” none of them are glaring errors that compromise the artist.

The album at times teeters on the point of greatness. The breathtaking “American Dream” concludes with Mike spitting potent lyrics over just a guitar. Simply put, transcribing them here doesn’t do the emotive quality of the words justice. It’s the type of track that few emcees can pull off and shows the importance of having both a lyrical and microphone presence. The soulful “Everything” takes a Motown sample and maintains its integrity. While Mike’s political clout is well known within Hip Hop circles, braggadocios tracks like “Ric Flair” and “So Glorious” show just how sick Mike is. At first glance “Player's Lullaby” and the intricately produced “Swimming” seem out of place on Pl3dge. However, it’s only when you look at Bigga’s career objectively that you understand their place on the album. While both cuts have radio potential, they aren't nearly as potent as works like “Ric Flair” or “Follow Your Dreams”, but what they do accomplish is that they showcase Bigga’s ability to ride a beat with utter smoothness.

PL3DGE erases any doubt that Killer Mike is a one trick pony. So when Mike spits “I’m trying to get a cheaper price, you know a bigger bag/  Mexican work, How American is that / As American as steering in a German car / Fucking a Russian chick snorting coke from Columbia“ he captures a contradiction that speaks to one of his own. Like most great artists, his messages often conflict, but it just adds to his complexity. While artists these days attempt to align with the right or the left or this label or that label, Killer Mike stands amongst the people.

 

Mike Bigga (Killer Mike) ft. T.I. & Big Boi - Ready Set Go (Remix) from Motion Family on Vimeo.

Purchase PL3DGE by Killer Mike

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54 Comments

  • Anonymous

    Rick Flair nuff said

  • gobberpooper

    Fantastic album, particularly because it's so well rounded. It represents what all the different facets of hip hop. The bragging, the cars jewels and girls side, as well as the conscious and rebellious side. Particular favorites were So Glorious, That's Life 2, and Follow Your Dreams. The only problem was the guest spots. I don't care at all for T.I or Young Jeezy and I have a passionate dislike for Gucci Mane

  • Anonymous

    2011 album of the year!!! GTRGBBB!!!!

  • Gemstar

    This album is my favorite of the year so far. Pl3dge > Watch The Throne (and I fuck with Hov and Ye). Could've done without the Gucci Mane verse but it's not enough to ruin what Killa Kill is building. Ric Flair goes so hard it's not even funny! If you haven't heard this yet, it's an automatic cop. Get it. 5

  • Tauheed El-Amin

    Music with a message. Professor Killer Mike delivering the gourmet food for your mind. GTRGBBB!!!

  • Luzh

    Fierce lyrics and hardcore beats have defined the Pledge series and nothing is changed here. The difference with the third and final instalment in the series is that it has a decidedly more commercial appeal. With a feature list that includes T.I., Big Boi, Gucci Mane & Young Jeezy, Bigga is out to make an impression on the charts. Long time fans however need not fear that Killer Mike has gone soft as he still maintains that militant persona that we have gotten used to. He rethreads familiar grounds by supplying solid sequels to two classic records from the previous instalments and, yes, he names names. He tackles police brutality on Burn, motivates us on Follow Your Dreams and still finds time to party with Jeezy & Gucci on Go Out On The Town and Animal. There is even room to spoil his Lady on Everything which works well despite the overused sample. Despite the multitude of topics on the album the album is still fairly compact, clocking in at less than an hour. It can sound all over the place at times but Mike is comfortable whether he is speaking on infidelity or taking aim at vain and abusive church ministers. Pl3dge is a fitting finale to the series and is a good indicator of what to expect from Mike in the future. My only gripe with it is the fact that there isn’t enough of the storytelling that Mike has become renowned for. That is a minor imperfection in what is otherwise a great album

  • kraka boy

    5 for speakin the truth mikey, FUCK OBAma killuminati

  • Quez

    this goez HAM. i didnt have to skip a song, somethin like a classic CD. he speaks the truth and doesnt get too soft either, gotta respect it. 5 stars!!

  • 787

    this will never make top 100 top 50 top 20 top 10 or anything for that matter. It's too evolutionary, revolutionary, and TRUTHFUL. I'm going to cop this. This is what is missing in the mainstream.....but "THEY" do that on purpose.

  • micah dancy

    Great album start to finish a classic album

  • southcakc23

    Chuch D, yes DMX, FUCK NO Jeezy, HELL FUCKIN NO! Mike is the cross between Ice Cube, Chuck D Biggie and Bun B. How the hell this album didn't get 5 stars is blasphemous. This album is CLASSIC!

  • jedwards2fly

    The beats are straight, but the lyrics are boring. I go to church if i wanted to hear somebody preach. No punchlines, no metaphors. What you hear is what you get. I'm hoping he freestyled these tracks cuz there is no thought behind them. I understand he wants to get things off his chest but be little creative with it too. And this is coming from a Killer Mike fan. Each pledge gets worse

    • Philip Carpenter-Powell

      Yea but he kilt Cham on Southern Takeover lol.

    • jedwards2fly

      really bro, that's how you feel? that's cool alright maybe i was trippin but I first starting fuckin with killer mike maybe five years ago when i heard thats life on some random ass mixtape. then i copped the first pledge. i felt he was hungry ass shit on that tape. deuces wild, one more gram, that nigga was goin in. the second one went hard too, but I felt he went a lil in cruise control. chamillionaire straight killed him in one song. this third one i was not really feeling maybe i've changed as a person and he is spittin the same. but i think he could have done this in his sleep. he has a lot more to offer than what he showed. so yeah it might be better than a lot of bullshit that's out today but personally i feel he took it light on this one. but fuck it, 2 each its own, that's how i felt

    • SouthCakC23

      @jedwards2fly WTF???? each pledge gets worse? *in Mike Bigga voice* "ARE YOU FUCKING RETARDED? I'm not gonna tell you how stupid you are right now, cuz you should already know!!!" GRIND TIME RAP GANG FUCKA BANG! BANG!! BANG!!! I knew you was a fraud when you said "And this is coming from a Killer Mike fan". BITCH, we don't have FANS! we only have SUPPORTERS!!! The lyrics are boring? You'd go to church if you wanted to hear somebody preach? It's dumb fucks like you that need to be preached to! You say he lacks creativity in his lyrics; no metaphors or punchlines? ARE YOU FUCKING DEAF? Do you have the listening comprehension of a rock? It's "fans" like you that should refrain from giving your opinion on album reviews.

    • Anonymous

      WHAT THE FUCK!!!!! U must must b listen to a Kidz Bop cd1

  • YakStar

    KILLA KILL FROM ADAMSVILLE!!!!! HERE IN THE A HE IS IN THE TOP 5 WHEN IT COMES TO STORYTELLING, CREATIVITY AND HUNGER.....HIS TIME WILL COME.....

  • westies

    not bad at all i like pretty much the whole tape, first time listening to a full killer mike album,4 stars for the effort

  • Anonymous

    A solid album from a very strong vocal talent that is Killer Mike. Starts off great, last few tracks are so-so imo.

  • Jamaal Weaver

    simply dope rhymes from front to back!!! bang x3

  • o

    LMAO @ how quickly the name "Mike Bigga" came and went. lol lol lol . glad he had the common sense to just let the fizzle offf

  • Mark Anthony Harris

    You expected something different from Killer Mike? Huh? People need to realize that this man will never let up. His beats are banging, his lyrics are real, and his message is all encompassing. Get with it.

  • King T

    In all honesty, from first listen, i felt as if I had to listen to the mixtape along with it to jam it. Now I barely jam the mixtape tracks. I would say this is Mike's biggest statement album. And by making allusions to his other works throughout the album, he's saying "check my track record"... If you already listen to Killer, you need to listen to this point, blank, period.

  • Daud Aron Ahmad Cohen

    Preacher and Pimp.

  • slimshady

    i listen to it , its not that great to me , nothing special . the beats sound like your typical downsouth beats . his rap style doesnt really do anything for me . he trys hard to say something but it comes off forced . 3 stars /5

  • Antnio Gramsci

    I really enjoyed the album. Sadly, Killer Mike is underrated and probably has no chance of ever really breaking into the mainstream. What I find depressing is the level of writing on this website. "PL3DGE erases any doubt that Killer Mike is a one trick pony" Are you guys serious?

    • rere

      ummm..wtf are you talking about? DX has given Mike more love than any other site, thats how i learned of him.

  • machavoc

    post the whole album up damn . 2 songs ? never been a killer mike fan but ill checc it out .

  • Azhar

    Rarely do artist live up to the hype and even less rare do they exceed expectations.. Killer Mike delivers on Pl3dge. It's one thing to put out a cd with no expectations. But to deliver when the pressure is on...Pressure can bursts pipes or it can make a diamond.. While not perfect lets just say Mike Bigga is def Shining rite now! Bang Bang Bang! Goodshit Killer Mike. Roll up!

  • Augie loc

    best hip hop album so far this year

  • doja28

    This dude is pure heat..album is nice.

  • youngvito79

    God in the building

  • Gregory Bowers

    ATL...Bump that, WORLD stand up for Great Music!!!

  • gh

    I expected more, but i will buy.

  • Anonymous

    Killer Mike is the south!

  • Jack Merridew

    very disapointing beats are average I pledge 2 was waaay better :/

    • SouthCakC23

      boooooi stoooop! You outta ya damn mind! The production on PL3DGE is the best Mike has ever had collectively on one album in his entire career. Disappointing? This album is the exact OPPOSITE of DISAPPOINTING!

  • John Krunk

    Why aren't you bitches giving Mike Bigga front page love on the review? Oh wait, my bad. Y'all need to let people know that Jigga man isn't mad at J. Cole. I thought y'all were supporters of the grind. I've listening to this shit all day. Pretty fucking solid.

  • Corey Wilkerson

    really need 2 stop sleepin on Mike Bigga...Hard beats, Mean lyrics and lil features...how a album should be..dat other fat rapper should take notes lol

  • rickoshay

    I'm buying. Doesn't sound as good as Volume 2, but that's just me. I love "Burn"

  • Anonymous

    This is more like 4 1/2 stars....but what the hell I'm not complaining. HipHop DX's rating was wise and I'm sure its not preemptive. This Album is incredible because even with the few club tracks/radio hits Killer has on here, he still delivers high-energy, substantial bars!! Great social commentary. I know there's obv. haters and they'll whine (ie "Are you insane HHDX, another 4 star rating?! Treating it like its the norm pff; that's like 10 in the last two months are yall nuts; get your heads out of your asses blah blah blah blah yada yada yada yada) but they fail to realize that lately artists have been inspired to drop some outstanding LPs and I couldn't be more thrilled with this state of affairs right now!!!! P.S. I fully expect the next great Albums this year will be Kool G Rap's "Riches, Royalty, & Respect, that Random Axe collaboration cd, and Pete Rock/Smif-N-Wessun's "Monumental"!!!!

    • ismokerocks12

      Kool Gs album leaked its straight garbage. IK hes capable of puttin out something way better then that idk wtf happened. New smif n wessun should be sick im also lookin forward to the random axe album

    • G MON

      no doubt Kool G and Smif albums will be sick. Look for Jus Allah - Meanest Man Alive, that man is sick, that album will kill. Think Celph Titled is dropping a new album this yr too, "The Fresh Prince of Hells Lair". Two of my favortie emcee's.

    • Pablo Escobar

      ^^^^^^^ AMERICAN DREAM