Shortly before he dropped his now critically-acclaimed I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind II [click to read], Killer Mike gave a very lengthy interview to HipHopDX [click to read]. But having always a lot to say (but always saying a lot), we couldn’t fit all of Mike’s statements into his DX feature piece.
So below are Killa Kill’s thoughts regarding the generational gap between the Civil Rights generation and the Hip Hop generation that has recently made headlines courtesy of Jesse Jackson [click to read], why black voters need to back Obama with the same fervor that women voters supported Hillary during the presidential primary season, and maybe most notably Mike shares his knowledge of scripture to explain the similarities between Obama and the Biblical prophet Aaron, as well as why if Jesus were walking the earth today he’d be in the trap.
Always insightful and sometimes controversial [click to view], Mike’s comments are always worth checking out.
On past [click to read] and present suggestions [as on “Pressure”] that black folks who don’t vote for Obama are essentially race traitors:
“Race traitors [are] the police who killed an innocent black man. That was what I called the black police who killed Sean Bell. I call them race traitors. [But with voters], you’re an American; you have the privilege to vote for any fucked up political candidate you’d like to vote for.
[But] when you sell people 40 years of we shall overcome – and I say sell because you got jobs out of this shit – do not get mad when they wake the fuck up and decide they overcame! Do not tell them what they have decided – [that] we have overcame…do not fuckin’ tell them we know better for you. Because we been in this struggle with you, muthafucka! We been suffering with you! We’ve suffered through bad policy from white and black politicians. We’ve suffered through this shit, and we believed everything you muthafuckas sold us. Our grandparents and parents bled blood for it, boycotted, integrating schools, [and] now once someone comes along and fulfills the fuckin’ prophecy, move the fuck on.
See that’s why God allowed Moses to get… The story of Moses is great for black people to study. We been studying the book of Job a long time – be patient, through all your suffering look to God…and that’s what we’ve done. Now, we’ve been talking the book of Moses; we’ve been talking coming out of Pharaoh‘s land. Okay, so if God made them run around for 40 years…for 40 years they was in the wilderness, they were dying off, the old people who were used to being slaves… Then you had a new generation of Israelites. You had a new generation that was ready to go into the promised land, and God told Moses you gonna see the promised land, but you’re not gon’ enter. Aaron is gon’ take them into the promised land. So what I’m saying is for all our Moses’, now that we’ve seen the promised land, like the good Dr. King told us – the greatest black man to walk the earth since Christ…like he told us, now that we’ve seen that, give Aaron… And I’m not saying Obama is Aaron, I’m saying the voice of the people is Aaron. You’re people are ready to be more than former slaves. You’re people are ready to be more than a romantic story for America’s progress. You’re people are ready to be a nation of people that decides for itself, that moves with their [own] economic dollar, they’re ready for productive change. Get with your people, or get out of they way.
And that’s [addressed] to my personal mentors. Anyone who knows Michael Render knows I’ve been mentored by the people I’m talking to! If you opened up my album cover you’ll read a dedication to Reverend James [inaudible], who was a lieutenant with Dr. King – right next to Hosea Williams, right next to Andrew Young, right next to Ralph David Abernathy, right next to these people. He was a grassroots organizer. He supported Obama. And he marched with King, so don’t tell me that I don’t know what I’m talking about. Because you’re at home watching TV clips, or you on blogville, [but] I know Andrew Young. I know John Lewis. [But] I don’t agree with [that] they chose to support [Hillary Clinton]. I knew James Orange – the late, great James Orange – and he supported Obama. I know Reverend Joseph Lowery, who also was a lieutenant with Dr. King. [And] he supports Obama. So don’t tell Killer Mike he wrong [for supporting Obama].”
On his remark from “I Gotcha” that “A black man can’t even run for president fair.”:
“I mean, c’mon man, if we had took our eyes off the television for one day you know they woulda gave that thing to Hillary, let’s not be naive. [And] I wrote [“I Gotcha”] when it was the thick of Hillary [saying], ‘I’m not leaving.’ I saw in one news broadcast, I saw them say, ‘Women are going to come out and support Hillary.’ And that’s a good thing, right? I heard the same people then say they felt it was wrong if blacks only voted for Obama because he’s black. And I’m thinking to myself: ‘So women can vote their self interests but black people can’t?” Like, where’s the fairness in that? I see disparity, [but] I don’t see fairness in that.
See [and] I ain’t even talk about the racial swipes they take at Obama, because I believe that in any political race they’re gonna take racial swipes. That’s fine. So that doesn’t matter to me that they even did that. My thing is, if you’re gonna allow cheating, allow it on both sides. [But] I would like to congratulate Obama for running a stellar campaign, that didn’t have to step in the mud…too much, ‘cause it’s still politics.“
On why the songs on Grind II are a little political but mostly serve as motivational music for d-boy’s to git up, git out and git something better for their lives:
“[My music is] definitely not Public Enemy revisited in its totality. It’s not a revisit to P.E. or [Ice] Cube, ‘cause we’ve been there [already]. It is the progression of P.E. or Cube. The same people that loved P.E. had to sell dope. But after the dope dealing was done why did we only buy cars and chains? And we have to re-examine that. To my people: I can’t keep railing against government on your behalf if we keep selling dope. So the only logical [suggestion] I can give you [in my music] is get the money cleaned up and buy bodegas, man. Buy gas stations. Become Joe Kennedy. Don’t become Tony-muthafuckin’-Montana. I pray to God that Freeway Rick is released in the next year or two, but we don’t ever need another Freeway Rick.“
On the intro to Grind II’s declaration that his music is the “Soundtrack to your success”:
“If you listen to that intro and you’re not motivated by that three minute intro to get up and change your life, check your fuckin’ blood pressure because you’re dead. What I meant by that [statement] is, I want to be the music that people play as they work out, before they go into a meeting – before you go into a meeting I want you to play ‘Can You Hear Me.’ Before you decide on who you’re gonna vote for, and I don’t mean [just] for President, I mean locally…because ‘Pressure’ is about more than just black and white people, or black people in government. It’s about the way authority is treating people period. So before you vote I want you to listen to that song. When you walk in a room if people don’t act as though God has just walked in that building you not doing something right.”
And speaking of which, on Mike’s opining from “God In The Building” that “If Jesus came back, motha where you think he’d be?/Probably in these streets with me”:
“I don’t [just think] that, I’m telling you what Jesus said. When the High Priest of the Jewish Order got his apostles they said, ‘Go ask your master why does he choose to be with those people and not come congregate with us?’ Well, who was Jesus with? Beggars, lepers, former Christian killers – Saul who turned to Paul was a former Christian killer. He used to kill the people he became. Thieves, low-life’s, robbers…and they came back. Jesus’ homeboys came back to him and they said hey man, them folks trippin’. You know in the south that’s [slang] for like regular people talking about authority figures. Them folks trippin’, they wanna know why if you the Messiah, if you the king of all Jews, if you all this, why you with these low class people? With the beggars, [and] damn, we got a prostitute with us, what are we doing? And Jesus answered right quick: ‘Does not a physician sit with the sick?’ So I’m not telling you what my opinion is [on where Jesus would be today], I’m telling you what Jesus said! That’s not what Michael said. So before y’all in blogville get angry with me and go in on me, just know that your Messiah said that. And if you’re Muslim, your prophet said that. And if you’re a Jewish guy, the guy you don’t believe in said that. [Laughs] And I say that with laughter, I don’t want anybody to get angry.“
And finally, much like fellow Dungeon Fam member Cee-Lo [click to read], Mike explains why he wrestles with being “called to preach”:
“Hey man, all I say is, God is in the building. God is in me. He’s in you. He’s with us all. I’m gon’ do whatever God wants me to do. ‘Cause as much as I love to believe I am, I’m not in control of this life. I can’t tell you I wrote “God In The Building,” that song happened. That song just came out. That song wasn’t even written. That song just came out in the booth. [And] that is really what happens, after people hear me speak, that’s what women tell me [that I’m called to preach]. That’s the truth.
I take the King’s English…I take this bastard language that’s not even my language and I paint pictures so vivid people say it feels like I was there when I heard you tell that story. That’s God, man. That ain’t got nothing to do with me.
So [with] ‘God In The Building,’ that song beyond being about me I’m telling you that about yourself! When you wake up in the morning [and] you wash your face [and] open your eyes and look in the mirror, you are looking at God. So treat yourself as though God live in you, man.“
Killer Mike’s I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind II is in stores and online right now via Grind Time Official/SMC Recordings.