Whether he’s incorporating Malcolm X speeches into his songs or calling a Detective Marc Cooper (one of the officers charged with reckless endangerment in the 2008 shooting of Sean Bell) a “race-trading bastard less than trash” Killer Mike has never been shy on the issue of Black Nationalism. As February draws to a close, Mike took a break from his recording session at Treesound Studios to tell 3 Little Digs about the importance of Black History Month.
“I think Black History Month is important for blacks in and outside the United States of America,” Mike explained. “Often times, black nations have been nations that have been conquered and just decimated by people. With being conquered and decimated, a lot of times, your history gets forgotten forever or just rearranged and changed. Not enough school children know that the face of The Sphinx used to be a face of Negro features. And Napoleon [Bonaparte] ordered 21 shots to blow the nose off the face.”
Mike added that his Pan-African influence came from his grandparents, due to his grandfather attending Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute. During a recent photo shoot, which featured Mike paying homage to Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton, Mike said he got a reminder of how little some people know about black history.
“One of the video models, who was in her mid-twenties, said, ‘Who was Huey Newton, a drug dealer?’” Mike recounted. “So her expectation was that all rappers try to emulate drug dealers and not necessarily revolutionaries. I found it a little shameful that this young woman didn’t know who Huey Newton was. I responded to her, ‘He’s the reason you have free breakfast in the schools…’”
Mike’s discussion was part of an ongoing series with 3 Little Digs. His upcoming album, PL3DGE, is scheduled to be released on March 22.