For years, Killer Mike has used his influence to challenge political systems, advocate for Black owned businesses and speak out against police brutality. In honor of Black Music Month, the proud Atlanta native partnered with Cadillac for their “Black Future” campaign. In addition to featuring the Escalade-V, the ad showcases two groundbreaking NFT artists: 13 year old Nyla Hayes and Nick Davis.
It also teases new music and an appearance from the Run The Jewels rapper himself. Killer Mike tells The Root his involvement was natural, as Black people have a special connection with the luxury brand. “During Jim Crow segregation, independent dealers didn’t always sell directly to Black people. Cadillac eventually decides this policy doesn’t make any sense. Black people essentially take this brand from where it is through the Milky Way.
It explodes because you’re not limited in what you can buy. I never was like ‘I’m going to get me a Cadillac’ until I heard Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. Being a guy that was once signed by Outkast–and am still very good friends with one of them today–this brand has been a part of my existence. I’ve seen Cadillacs driven my whole life, but now as a Cadillac driver on a daily basis, I just gotta tell you–I’m totally a fan of it as a car guy.”
Those who consider the emcee’s involvement with the company as just another celebrity benefiting from a capitalistic venture, Killer Mike holds nothing back. “Mike Roberts–who was one of the first brothers to become a billionaire and an amazing human being–said to me ‘Michael, if you were born in a socialist country, you would’ve been a damn good socialist. And if you were born in a communist country, I’m sure you would’ve been a good communist.
You happen to have been a Black boy born in a Black city in a Black neighborhood in a capitalistic society. You have understood the importance of capitalism on a day to day basis and you do it in a compassionate way.’ As bad as capitalism has been to us–meaning we were chattel slavery slaves brought here in 1619 to build this country’s economy–I see capitalism as a vehicle that gives people jobs, gives people dignity and provides opportunity.”
Profits from the “Black Future” campaign will go to Save The Music Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on rebuilding music education in America’s public schools as well as raising awareness of the impact it has on children. Killer Mike explains why this mission will always be close to his heart.
“I was a child in school when Reagan pulled the arts programming out of public schools. They had a profound effect on me because the more confident [of an] artist I was, the more confident [of a] child I was. I want Black artists to know that you don’t have to wait to make history.
The time is not coming–the time is right now. I’m damn proud of those artists; I’m proud of culturally what we’ve given to this country and to the world. I’m proud of us for pushing the limits every single day. And I look forward to cheering for you more and buying more of your work.”