Grammy-winning rapper Killer Mike was arrested at the awards ceremony on Sunday, adding to his already controversial reputation. The rapper, also known as Michael Render, has a history of openly discussing drug dealing and crime in his music and even admits to living with regrets at the age of 40.
Despite his questionable past, Killer Mike has garnered attention and support as an activist for social and political causes. He has been a vocal supporter of Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders and even hosted a Netflix documentary series called “Trigger Warning with Killer Mike,” where he addresses issues that affect the Black community. However, his recent Grammy wins have brought his activism to the forefront once again.
During his acceptance speech at the Grammy Awards, Killer Mike made it clear that he identifies as a “man full of empathy and sympathy for the things [he’s] done.” This statement is not surprising, considering the rapper’s history of promoting drug dealing and violence in his music.
“At 20 years old, I thought it was cool to be a drug dealer,” he said. “At 40, I started to live with the regrets and the things I’ve done. At 45, I started to rap about it. At 48, I stand here as a man full of empathy and sympathy for the things I’ve done.”
But the real shocker came when Killer Mike declined to endorse President Joe Biden over former President Donald Trump during an interview with outspoken comedian Bill Maher on the show “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Despite Maher repeatedly pressing the rapper to reveal his preferred candidate, Killer Mike steadfastly avoided answering the question directly. It seems that even at his age, Killer Mike still has a rebellious streak.
However, it wasn’t just Killer Mike’s refusal to endorse a candidate that raised eyebrows. The rapper went on to list specific conditions that Biden would need to meet before he would give his endorsement, including apologizing for the 1994 crime bill and picking a coalition of former criminals to advise him on fixing federal prisons.
“Can he get himself to apologize for the  crime bill? Can he get himself to get his head out of his ass and say ‘black people, you are black regardless? I need you to tell me what I need to do.’ Can he pick a coalition of former people who were affected by drug law, street gangs, recidivism and crime and say ‘I need you as a board to advise me how to fix federal prisons’? If he can do that, absolutely I can. So my challenge is out,” the rapper said.
Bill Maher begs Killer Mike to endorse Joe Biden over Trump, and Killer Mike refuses 🤣
“You can’t get yourself to say ‘Vote for Biden over Trump’?!”
Killer Mike: “Can he get himself to apologize for the crime bill?” pic.twitter.com/5Vk1R7LFyV
— Eric Abbenante (@EricAbbenante) February 3, 2024
In addition to his controversial political views, Killer Mike’s Grammy wins were overshadowed by his arrest at the ceremony. He was escorted out of the arena in handcuffs after an altercation. He was eventually released on his own recognizance.
Breaking: Rapper Killer Mike has been taken away in handcuffs in https://t.co/aF2yiyTHol arena after winning 3 #Grammys during telecast (Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance for “Scientists & Engineers,” Best Rap Album for Michael) “Free Mike” someone shouts as he walks past. pic.twitter.com/4epfmzqMt8
— Chris Gardner (@chrissgardner) February 5, 2024