I like Killer Mike.
I’ve been a fan since the first time I heard him on Outkast’s “Snappin’ & Trappin’” from their fourth album Stankonia. His and rapper/producer El-P’s series of Run The Jewels albums have been a major part of reinvigorating my love for hip-hop. I even enjoy his Netflix docuseries Trigger Warning With Killer Mike. I guess I’m just trying to find nice things to say about Michael Santiago Render before I ask him a relevant question: Negro, what is you doing?
On Wednesday, Georgia Governor and unofficial Trump nutsack holder Brian Kemp tweeted photos of a meeting he and a number of other stiff-looking white people had with Killer-Kill himself.
“Today, Marty and I had a great meeting with @KillerMike,” Kemp wrote. “We discussed how small businesses and the music industry are weathering the pandemic, the value of our skilled trade workers, and our fight to end human trafficking in Georgia. We look forward to seeing him again soon!”
Outside of Kemp’s vague-ass description of their conversation, I have no idea what they talked about, and I don’t care. I would bet good money that it wasn’t the kind of conversation that results in actual policy changes because no government official meets with a random rapper for something like that. Instead, this meeting has “see, I couldn’t possibly be racist, look at my Black friend here” written all over it. It’s almost as if Killer Mike has learned nothing from the time the NRA used his advocacy for Black gun ownership to tokenize the Atlanta emcee and show off their own Blacky-lackey.
Brian Kemp isn’t Bernie Sanders. Kemp is not someone who has ever shown the slightest bit of interest in racial justice. In fact, right now Kemp’s No. 1 priority appears to be keeping his nose up the president’s enormous orange ass-crack. That would be the same president who has been making it abundantly clear that he stands against all things Black Lives Matter and believes that systemic racism is utter hogwash.
I can’t imagine that Killer Mike believes that the governor of making Black votes disappear has any real interest in tackling racism in Georgia or anywhere else, so I guess the real question here is: Who was this meeting even for?
As a Georgia resident, I can guarantee that there aren’t many Black people across the Peach State that will be convinced to start voting Republican because Governor Not-Stacey Abrams met with Mr. Grind Time Official. So this meeting couldn’t possibly be about Black Georgians voting red. And it’s definitely not about impressing Black conservatives. Them niggas don’t know Killer Mike’s music any more than white conservatives do. You could show any random Republican a meme with Andre 3000’s face with a caption that reads, “Since y’all are such big Killer Mike fans, name one song from his Trap Muzik album besides ‘International Player’s Anthem’” and none of them would realize a joke was being made.
So who was this meeting even meant to pander to? As far as I can tell, Kemp is just following the GOP trend of parading Black faces around to show the Republican Party isn’t the “old white man party” it’s perceived as being while continuing to ignore Black issues and actively opposing anti-racism efforts. For that, Mike gets a temporary seat at the proverbial table where he can figuratively serve the Kool-Aid (instead of literally serving it which is the only thing old white conservatives tend to want Black people doing at their actual tables.)
Again, I like Killer Mike. I don’t always agree with him—he can get a little hotep-adjacent at times but he’s never gone full Umar—and I respect him as an artist and as a community figurehead. But this, in the land of all chiefs in the history of chiefdom, ain’t it.