Killer Mike has opened up about his journey in the music industry, including some important life lessons.

In a new interview with Spin magazine, the Run The Jewels rapper discussed how he overcame self-doubt early in his career, revealing that his first record deal with Columbia Records “damaged” him.



According to Killer Mike, despite his debut album, Monster, selling over 500,000 copies in the U.S., the reception was deemed “lukewarm” in comparison to some of his peers at the time, such as 50 Cent, whose 2003 major label debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, sold 872,000 copies in its first week alone while on its way to almost 10 million.

“My first record deal damaged me. It made me afraid, it pulled me back. I hadn’t done terribly on the major. I just, you know, I came out the same year as 50 [Cent], selling 10 million fucking records. I sold, you know, 500,000.”

It was then that the rapper said he realized he was more comfortable with “independent circles.”

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In other related news, Killer Mike recently opened up about why André 3000’s first didn’t almost make it on his new album.

The Run The Jewels rapper took to Instagram earlier this week to reveal Three Stacks had hesitations about sharing their latest collaboration with the world — until he heard the final version and was amazed by what he heard from Detroit-bred singer Eryn Allen Kane, who sings the hook on the track.

OutKast Fan Recreates ‘ATLiens’ Beat & Gets Surprise From Killer Mike: ‘Day Made'

OutKast Fan Recreates ‘ATLiens’ Beat & Gets Surprise From Killer Mike: ‘Day Made'

“André 3000, he’s in Japan right now as we talk, playing the flute,” Mike explained in a video from his recent listening session. “He called me, he’s like, ‘Kill, I don’t know about the song, man. We just got a good rap record, man.’

“And then Cuz [Lightyear] was like, ‘You sent him the final record?’ I’m like, ‘Nah.’ I sent it over with Eryn’s hook and stuff. He hit back with, ‘Yeah, yeah, you got the record. Who is that?!’”

He added: “So thank you, Eryn, I really appreciate you for that.”



Killer Mike and André 3000’s upcoming collaboration is titled “Scientists & Engineers” and features Future. In April, a snippet of the song surfaced online after being played during a listening party for Michael in New York.

“All I know is when the portrait is painted better have your portion of the rent/ A dollar more and you will get upgraded when you think you’ve made it you are then/ Just tolerated, overrated, hope I’m 80 when I get my second wind,” the OutKast legend spits on the space-age track.

Michael will be released on June 16 and boasts features from André 3000, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, El-P, Dave Chappelle, and more.