Killer Mike has shared his first solo single in ten years.
The Run The Jewels rapper – real name Michael Render – is dropping a new track ‘RUN’ featuring the talents of fellow rapper Young Thug and comedian Dave Chappelle.
The 47-year-old rapper’s new song – which is produced by No I.D – opens with a monologue by the 48-year-old comic and includes a verse from the 30-year-old hip hop star.
The video – which is directed by Adrian Villagomez – shows Mike and a battalion of Black soldiers fighting against white fascists in a war zone. During Young Thug’s guest spot, a banner appears that reads “Free Thug, Protect Black Art, Free Gunna,’ which is believed to be a reference to Thug and fellow rapper Gunna being charged in a 56 count grand jury indictment that alleges they were involved – with 26 other people – in a conspiracy to commit racketeering. Both men deny the charges.
In another part of the video, a soldier is seen wearing an armband stating “Free YSL”, a shout out to authorities labelling Thug’s record label YSL a “criminal street gang”.
The ‘Trigger Warning’ documentary maker – and noted supporter of US left wing politician Bernie Sanders, where at his rallies is known for making impassioned speeches for racial parity – recently noted his “duty” to his “community”.
Mike told the Guardian: “I definitely lead a non-politician life; I smoke weed and I go to strip clubs with my wife, but I care about people and I have a duty to my community. I am not an angry old man – I am a participator.”
He added: “I say that ‘the race for freedom ain’t won / you gotta run because as Black people in America we have to be resilient. We have overcome and we shall continue to do so.”
The hip hop artist – who performs in RTJ with fellow rapper EL-P – carries his activism because he instilled the importance of it by his “elders,” such as his grandparents.
Mike said: “My grandmother did the work of taking care of our neighbours without publicity, and my grandfather did, too – he would go fishing and always give half of his catch to other people, for instance. I don’t see it as making me better. I don’t see it as being driven by celebrity guilt either. I was told by my elders to make sure that the people who are suffering in my community are relieved by me. These are the principles that I operate with.”