Killer Mike speaks on range of topics during 2.5 hour Q&A at MIT.
As a part of the second installment of MIT's Hip Hop Speaker Series, Killer Mike spent two and a half hours Friday fielded questions from MIT students and faculty, touching on a wide range of topics from independent record labels to police violence to white rappers to the No Child Left Behind Act.
Mike had well-chosen but harsh words for the major label system, comparing it to "sharecropping." "We have been used and abused and we know that," he said.
According to Billboard he called for "more Roc-a-fellas," "more Bad Boys," and for young musicians to carve their own path. "What El-P said 20 years ago was right – be independent as fuck. If you want to pull out of that construct, you have to start your own farm. If you're an abolitionist, you're not going to get money from the federal government, so you have to get it on your own."
A 40-year graduate of Morehouse College, Killer Mike's activist credentials and political savvy earned him a spot at Saturday night's White House Correspondence Dinner (check out his tuxedo below) . He will not speak there, and indeed he holds sway not over political and media elite but over young listeners of hip-hop. His appearance at MIT as one extended call to action for the students to use their intellect responsibly and with intention.
"I'm not here to get you to buy a CD," he said. "I believe in smart people... The intelligence in this room is the only thing that can save this country."