Killer Mike is perhaps Hip-Hop‘s best representatives when it comes to blending social issues with the grit of the streets the art form hails from. The Atlanta rapper assumed his outspoken stance once more after he says that the criminalizing of Hip-Hop music and culture is essentially the new “Jim Crow.”
Killer Mike, appearing under his given name Michael Render, was a guest on HuffPost Live this past Wednesday (April 1) speaking with host Ricky Camilleri about the recent cases of Brandon “Tiny Doo” Duncan and McKinley “Mac Fifth” Phipps. Duncan and Phipps had their rap lyrics used against them in court to tie in their reported gang affiliations. Despite not being responsible for a series of murders or even being charged as such, the pair was put on blast due to an obscure law.
Camilleri asked Killer Mike his thoughts on the case and how he feels that criminalizing rap lyrics and using them in the court of law is bringing about divisive and racist ways of American’s not so distant past.
More from Huffington Post:
“It signals to me that Jim Crow is very much alive,” rapper Killer Mike told HuffPost Live host Ricky Camilleri on Wednesday. “I think that in this country we love the nostalgic stories of how far we’ve come in transforming…and we have not. If we don’t remain vigilant about these things, we never will.”
Killer Mike has been vocal on prosecutors’ use of rap lyrics in court and condemns the act. To him, it signals the overall criminalization of black boys, which he says starts at a very young age.
“It used as a tool to literally hang our boys,” he said. “It is wrong, it is evil, it is vicious, it is maniacal and it is systemic.”
Killer Mike made the analogy that country music has some of darkest imagery in music but because of its melodic nature and the fact that it represents a culture other than Black, prosecutors and jurors don’t see Hip-Hop as having the same right to free expression.