What can Families Learn from Killer Mike?

Killer Mike. Courtesy photo.

There are so many paths to leadership.

Michael Render — known better as his stage name, Killer Mike — has been using his professional platform to help elevate others for more than a decade.

In June 2020 after George Floyd’s murder, he was asked by the mayor of Atlanta to speak to demonstrators, imploring them to be peaceful. The empathy and emotion that he demonstrated as he spoke was arresting.

In 2008, Killer Mike signed to fellow Atlanta-based rapper T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records. In 2012, he released R.A.P. Music, produced entirely by American rapper and producer El-P. Killer Mike and El-P subsequently formed the duo Run the Jewels in 2013. They were signed to Fool’s Gold Records and released their self-titled debut in June of that year.

While flourishing professionally, Killer Mike remains outspoken about his work within Black neighborhoods. He said in a statement last month that communities should constantly be organizing and pushing toward equality on a number of fronts, and focusing on state and local elections more than the “circus” of national campaigns.

“In my opinion, what Dr. King would have wanted us to be doing, whether you’re pushing for better voting rights, whether you’re pushing for economic rights, whether you’re pushing for workers rights, you should be pushing the line all the time and organizing,” he said.

Killer Mike’s current ventures include the Greenwood mobile banking app and backing the “Rap Music on Trial” bill, which would keep a rapper’s lyrics from being used against them in a criminal trial.

Thank you, Killer Mike, for showing us that when we focus on bringing people together, everyone has something to offer. In communities, like families, one person can make a big difference.

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