Popular Culture

Fighting the Power

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Killer Mike may be one of the most political rappers rhyming today, but there's no use trying to fit him into any typical partisan category. On his latest album, Pl3dge (Smc Recordings), the Atlanta-based rapper trashes bully cops, slams corporate takeovers, and curses taxes and the drug war. It's not political parties that upset him so much as politics itself.

He has a few political heroes—especially Martin Luther King Jr.—but no love for either side of the political spectrum. In "That's Life II," he rips into conservative talk show hosts Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, unfavorably comparing their fans to kids who take their cues from rappers. Just a few verses later, he goes after Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey for ignoring Oscar Grant's death at the hands of the police, and he finishes by lobbing an insult at Democrats, making sure to note that "I'm a detractor/So whether you vote right or left is not a factor." —Peter Suderman