We travel to Atlanta, Georgia, to sit down with Grammy Award-winner Killer Mike. The rapper and community activist candidly reveals how he got involved with drugs at a young age and how the deaths of his mother and grandmother changed his approach to life. He reflects on his music career, discusses his outspoken political views, reveals potential plans for a career shift, and explains how he’s impacted his local community through business investments. Finally, we get a tour of his impressive car collection and join him at a local record signing event.
Killer Mike’s childhood: Sister trying to poison me, tying up the babysitter
Killer Mike reflects on some memorable stories from his childhood, including how his sister attempted to poison him before they ultimately built a loving relationship keeping an eye out for one another.
Killer Mike: Playboy helped me learn to read
Rapper Killer Mike discusses the shocking role that Playboy Magazine played in his literacy. After finding a Playboy in his father’s drawer, he says he became an avid reader of the magazine, not only for the pictures but for the articles as well. He reveals that, since the magazines were getting him to read, his parents never faulted him for it. Finally, Killer Mike explains how openness with his parents in this capacity inspired him to instill a similar dynamic in his relationship with his own kids.
Killer Mike: Why I had to cut grass for “free” as a kid
Rapper Killer Mike reflected on his childhood, highlighting the formative influence of his grandparents, who instilled in him values of faith, education, and family. He recalls his family’s dedication to serving the community and their regular attendance at Sunday service. Killer Mike also reveals that, despite his commitment to education, he maintained a poor attendance record throughout his high school years.
Killer Mike: “Glad as hell” cops brutally beat me instead of throwing me in jail
Rapper and activist Killer Mike shares stories from his days growing up around drugs, including his attempt to earn a ‘fair wage.” He remembers getting beat by a group of officers when he was caught dealing – but remains thankful they didn’t book him into jail because of the embarrassment that would have been caused to his dad, a former police officer.
Killer Mike: The moment I realized God is real
An emotional Killer Mike reflects on the enormous impact both his mother and grandmother had on his life. The rapper, who was alone with his grandmother when she passed away, shares how she “saw something” and smiled before she died, leaving him to believe in the presence of God. Killer Mike then goes on to discuss the loss of his mother and what he wishes he had gotten the chance to tell her before she passed.
Killer Mike: Tears during dad’s “starving artist” apology
Rapper Killer Mike looks back at an emotional conversation with his father – and the two words that sparked a fire for him to find success – “starving artist.” Years later, Mike remembered a tearful and apologetic conversation with his father.
Killer Mike on family, children… polyamory
Rapper and father-of-four Killer Mike recalls his experiences with fatherhood, saying that being a dad has inspired him to become a better, more responsible person. He opens up about what it’s like to have a blended family, shortcomings he’s faced due to his career, and his perspective on monogamous relationships.
Killer Mike opens up about son’s kidney disease
Killer Mike opens up about his son’s battle with kidney disease. The rapper recounts his son’s initial diagnosis, the challenging moment when he was put on dialysis, and the current status of his health. Guided by a strong faith in God and inspired by his mother, who faced the same ailment, Killer Mike maintains a sense of hope that his son will be able to make a full recovery and, in doing so, get the opportunity to pursue his dreams.
Killer Mike: The song that made me not quit rapping
Rapper Killer Mike reminisces on his early career, including childhood memories of using a remote control as a microphone, his epic rap battle against Daddy Ray, and difficult moments where he nearly gave up making music altogether. The Grammy Award winner also discusses the pros and cons of remaining an independent music artist, and describes the ways in which his career has since extended beyond rap and into social advocacy and community building.
Killer Mike: 3 key lessons from Jay-Z’s success
Rapper Killer Mike recalls his most notable moments with the 24-time Grammy winner, Jay Z, including his feature on Jay Z’s album, their first encounter, and seeking his advice. Later, Killer Mike commends Jay Z for his remarkable approach to business, marked by persistence and teamwork.
Rapper and activist Killer Mike discusses his relationship with Dave Chapelle, and recalls memories from guest starring on the Chappelle Show to receiving encouragement from Dave to run for governor. Killer Mike also addresses his political ideologies, reveals his plans for future political involvement, and responds to criticism about Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp.
Killer Mike on voting for Bernie: Fine stripper wasn’t dancing
Killer Mike opens up about what he found “refreshing” in Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign and why he couldn’t support Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. The rapper-turned-activist encourages his fans to listen to what Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West are saying on the campaign trail this year.
Rapper and activist Killer Mike reflects on some of his most notable speeches, including the one given after the announcement of the Michael Brown verdict, where he aimed to insight actionable hope. He also recalls his speech given during an Atlanta protest, where he encouraged protestors not to engage in destruction of the neighborhoods, but rather to use their community as a tool for good during times of racial injustice.
Killer Mike: Grooming my barbershop into a $100M franchise
Rapper and business owner, Killer Mike discusses his barbershop chain The Swag Shop, revealing his ambition goal of opening up 150 locations across the United States. He also talks about his investment in Bankhead Seafood, his wife’s work within the company, and the impacts the restaurant will have on his community. Finally, Killer Mike reminisces on important financial lessons learned throughout his career, particularly those given to him by Andre 3000’s mother, Sharen Benjamin.
Killer Mike addresses his lifestyle changes that resulted in him losing more than 100 pounds. He stresses the importance of his ‘power hour’ – the first hour of the day when he meditates, exercises and prioritizes his well being. Saying he started to see too many of his friends die, he realized his need to get his diet under control to be around for a long time for his children.
A tour of Killer Mike’s garage: ‘74 Caprice, ‘72 Cutlass, much more
We traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to visit with rapper Killer Mike and take a tour of his impressive car collection. He also discusses the origin of his passion for cars, shows off his most memorable purchases, and recounts an accident he endured after falling asleep at the wheel on his way home from work.
Rapper Killer Mike and DJ Swiff reminisce on their friendship, from their initial meeting to rough patches faced throughout their relationship. The two musicians also reveal how their relationship works so well and how common interests have set the groundwork for their creative process.
Killer Mike: Why I’ll never give up my guns to the government
Rapper and activist Killer Mike discusses his views on gun control, expressing concern that the black community will be disproportionately targeted if new regulations are implemented. He also reveals his views on bullies, his distrust of the government, and his belief that American rights are undervalued.
Rapper Killer Mike discusses his album, Michael, which he believes truly speaks to who he is and where he came from. Later, we join Killer Mike in Atlanta, Georgia at a record signing event, and hear from fans who attended.
Killer Mike: My accountant didn’t understand barber shop purchase
We’re in Atlanta, Georgia with Killer Mike as he takes us around one of his three barber shops, and reveals his inspiration for this business investment. We also hear from the shop’s barbers, who say the comradery and community that lie at the heart of The Swag Shop is what makes it so unique.