Killer Mike didn’t know Kendrick Lamar listened to his music, until the nightTo Pimp A Butterfly was released.
On track 10, “Hood Politics”, Kendrick raps, “Critics wanna mention that they miss when Hip Hop was rappin’/ Motherf–ker if you did then Killer Mike would be platinum.”
Shortly after realizing Kendrick had shouted him out on the album, Mike thanked Kendrick via Twitter with a Tweet that read: “Sincere thanks. Salutes @kendricklamar. #RTJ”
Mike recently sat down with MTV – alongside El-P – to discuss his reaction to hearing Kendrick’s lyric and his how he would like to be remembered in Hip Hop.
“I felt like when a professional ball player compliments another professional ball player,” Mike says. “That is a compliment no one can truly understand how dope that is, unless you’re a ball player. For me, it was an honor.”
Mike and Kendrick have never worked together, and although Mike says he’s a big fan of Kendrick, he was unaware the adoration was mutual.
“I didn’t know he listened to me,” Mike says, surprised. “I suspected maybe he did. I’m glad it was confirmed in such a huge way. I just want to thank him. I just like what they’re doing. I just like him.”
Since the mid-90s, Mike has been affiliated with Hip Hop in some way. Before launching his debut album, Monster, in 2003, Mike had already been featured on huge hits with Outkast (“The Whole World”) and Jay Z (“Poppin Tags”).
Nearly two decades later, Mike has revitalized his career by teaming up with producer-rapper El -P to form Run The Jewels. If Mike gets his way, he’ll be rapping for years to come.
“I want a Scarface like career,” Mike says. “Scarface has never been wack in 27 years of making music. That’s what I want my legacy to be. I’d like to be a Bun B, I’d like to be an E-40, I’d like to be a rapper that is dope over multiple decades.”