presidential election

the killer mic bump

Killer Mike, stage name of Michael Render, has long suffused his music with lyrics confronting the Reaganite legacy which has hegemonised the American political landscape since the 1980s (a legacy which is mirrored by the hegemonisation of the British political landscape by Thatcherite legacy, summed up by Peter Mandelson's famous claim that "we are all Thatcherites now"). In the song 'Reagan' from his 2012 album R.A.P. Music (an album which would be the Killer Mike + El-P spark which would ignite Run the Jewels), for example, he takes a firm aim at, in addition to Reagan, the military-industrial apparatuses, American institutional inertia and in-built democratic deficits:

But thanks to Reaganomics, prisons turned to profits
Cause free labor is the cornerstone of US economics
Cause slavery was abolished, unless you are in prison
You think I am bullshitting, then read the 13th Amendment
Involuntary servitude and slavery it prohibits
That's why they giving drug offenders time in double digits
Ronald Reagan was an actor, not at all a factor
Just an employee of the country's real masters
Just like the Bushes, Clinton and Obama
Just another talking head telling lies on teleprompters
If you don't believe the theory, then argue with this logic
Why did Reagan and Obama both go after Qaddafi
We invaded sovereign soil, going after oil
Taking countries is a hobby paid for by the oil lobby

Killer Mike has been a consistent and vocal supporter of Bernie Sander's so-far surprisingly successful Presidential campaign. In a recent rally in Atlanta for the campaign, he gave a hugely energetic and provocative speech: isolating the revolutionary legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr, reparations, the restoration of the Voting Rights Act, the war on drugs, and the right to a free education. It's clear that Killer Mike hasn't reneged on his consistently critical and cynical view of mainstream US politics, but the spark of Bernie Sanders is clearly, at least so far, a disruption to that mainstream. Watch the speech below.