Killer Mike has been a professional rapper for the past 14 years, and, thanks to the rise of Run The Jewels, he's more successful now than he's ever been at any point in his career.
Earlier this month, while in Los Angeles for the West Coast leg of Run The Jewels' current nationwide tour, Mike and his RTJ running mate El-P sat down for an in-depth interview with L.A. radio station Power 106.
Throughout the eight-minute interview, the pair discusses different struggles they've faced throughout their respective careers, must-haves in the studio and the importance of terrestrial radio in an on-demand streaming world, but it was Mike's answer to, "What past experiences shaped who you are today?" that was the most insightful.
"I used to be a low-level drug dealer and every day I wake appreciating not having to do that. So every day I take as an opportunity to advance myself, and I really look at my times of doing the things I didn't want to do to provide for my children and myself, I honor this and I don't disrespect this job. I don't take it for granted. I don't turn down interviews. I don't miss shows. I'm here to work. I say that and, a lot of times, people take as a joke or do you feel obligated. Like, this is my day job. And I love it like that. I love my job so, for me, I never ever in my life have to return to anything criminal. I work my ass off."
Earlier today, we ran a story about Lil Uzi Vert, who admitted in a new interview that he hates rap and is only doing it because he has an obligation to provide for his family. While Killer Mike doesn't hate rap—and to be clear, I wouldn't dare compare Mike's rapping abilities to that of Uzi Vert, and vice versa—his answer is literally the other side of the same coin.
Having been able to support his family for years off of income generated through making music and touring, Mike loves rap for precisely the reason Uzi hates it—except, unlike Uzi, he has the advantage of perspective gleaned from 19 additional years on Earth and his experience selling drugs before his rap career began to take off.
To summarize: Uzi hates rapping because it feels like a job he's only doing to support his family, while Mike loves rapping because that same job gave him the opportunity to legally support his family.
Of course, obtaining personal perspective is paramount, but, hopefully, people are also listening to others and taking mental notes.
By Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.