Getting Political With Killer Mike
by: Joseph Johnson
October 5, 2012
Hip-hop has been a divided genre for quite some time, but in the last few years there’s been a general shift away from deeper subjects, in favor of materialistic lyrics with some witty catchphrases thrown in for good measure. The idea of rappers talking about making money, buying whips and how they like their women isn’t exactly a new one, but it feels like quite some time since there’s been someone in the mainstream saying something truly powerful or pertinent.
Killer Mike may not be on everyone’s radar, but he’s a respected lyricist and his latest joint, “Reagan,” shows us why he’s gained reverence from fans and peers alike. As you might guess from the title, “Reagan” tackles political issues and also questions the current state of hip-hop. Mike challenges artists who stick to a flimsier model of hip-hop saying: “We should be indicted for bullshit we incited.” And he’s not going to let politicians go free without scorn: “Just like the Bushes, Clinton and Obama. Just another talking head telling lies on teleprompters.”
The tone created by both the lyrics and El-P‘s production is ominous and is perfectly visualised in the newly released animated video. With the U.S. presidential elections just around the corner, it seems like the perfect time for hip-hop to put its thinking cap back on, and whether or not you agree with his lyrical content, Killer Mike’s offering is the perfect start for the return to hip-hop with a conscience.