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Killer Mike is the leader we deserve


Life in a Shanty Town

June 5 · Issue #204 · View online

The hip-hop newsletter that's not afraid to ask the tough questions

At a time when even the Twitter accounts for Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s are tacitly encouraging aggrieved black people to steal from Target, Killer Mike is speaking out against protesting, and I’m with it, because I actively seek out reasons not to leave the house.
This past weekend, the Run the Jewels rapper was chosen, along with T.I., to try to talk some sense into the citizens of his native Atlanta, not unlike the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, at Boston Garden the night after MLK was assassinated, as depicted in the brilliant Get on Up.
It was a great honor, which likely wouldn’t have been bestowed upon him if Atlanta didn’t have not just a black mayor, but a black mayor named Keisha who may or may not have been, back in the 1990s, the one member of the group Total who was kinda attractive.
It just goes to show the importance of having black faces in high places, which is part of the reason why, as Killer Mike pointed out, we should be focused on getting out the vote in November, instead of looting a Target, which doesn’t even carry anything that I want right, other than a Pepsi-flavored Icee—and you can’t get one of those anyway, because they don’t keep the machines plugged in overnight.
I was right there with everything Killer Mike was saying. Now is not the time to antagonize the police, especially any of Mike’s relatives who happen to be cops. Now is the time to plot, plan, strategize, mobilize and organize.
Of course not everyone was as impressed with Killer Mike’s speech as I was. What do you expect at a time when Twitter allows literally anyone to have a platform, unless they’ve been banned from the site for sending inappropriate direct messages to girls they were trying to date?
Some people even went so far as to suggest that the real reason Killer Mike spoke out against protesting was to protect his own real estate holdings, as if he’d be so narcissistic as to put his own personal financial interests ahead of the community’s right to set fires for emotional purposes.
This is the guy who’s made each Run the Jewels album available for free download. 
Some people pointed out how it was supposedly contradictory to call for calm while wearing a shirt that said Kill Your Masters. They obviously failed to consider the fact that that shirt is Run the Jewels merch.
Run the Jewels has an album that was supposed to come out today but instead it dropped on Tuesday, as if this were 1993. But Killer Mike would never hijack a protest against the police killing of an unarmed black man to promote his own rap album. Instead he chose to wear his own merch, as a subtle reminder.
I might cop one of those shirts as a show of gratitude for the tactful manner in which he handled that situation, but also because, if Killer Mike had one on, I know they make them in my size.
I’d be honored to wear one of those shirts even if it didn’t fit correctly.
Take it easy on yourself,

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