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From The Vault (2017): Killer Mike Talks Protest Rap, Social Activism and Gentrification

Written by on September 17, 2021

On Saturday Sept. 18, Run The Jewels will take stage at Riot Fest in Douglass Park. This will be the duo’s first time performing in the city since the release of critically acclaimed RTJ4.

Michael Santiago Render, better known as Killer Mike, has never shied away from controversy. One half of rap duo Run The Jewels, Mike called into Vocalo to in February 2017 to discuss politics, protest rap, social activism and more with DJs Jill Hopkins and Jesse Menendez.

Mike’s outspoken political views have garnered both support and criticism — from his strong support of Black gun ownership to his highly emotional speech in the midst of protests against police brutality in summer 2020. The rapper also outlined his time campaigning with Bernie Sanders during the senator’s 2016 presidential run. The two developed a close relationship, with Sanders going so far as to introduce Run the Jewels at Coachella in April 2016.

During the interview, Killer Mike additionally delved into the importance of socially and politically conscious rap music as well as how gentrification forces poor populations out of cities, harming their chances at upward mobility.

Stream the full interview on Spotify below.

Pictured above: Killer Mike by David A. Smith/Getty Images via NPR.

Written by Erik Anderson

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