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What Went Wrong With… Killer Mike, OutKast & Other Assorted Sellouts Like T.I.?

Killer Mike, T.I., Big Boi, and pigs

When shit gets real, celebrities get fake. The protests in response to the murder of George Floyd by white Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin, have led certain entertainers to weigh-in on the situation. Had these protests occurred in the early ’90s or late ’80s, rappers would have supported and encouraged them but after more than two decades of fuckery, Hip-Hop acts are no longer cut from the same cloth. Case in point: Killer Mike. Twitter and other mainstream sources were trying to convince us all that Mike’s recent speech was “powerful” and “impassioned”, and when that type of media persuasion-slash-adoration occurs, you know the celeb in question is a politically-neutral, mainstream-approved fake.

Killer Mike prefaced his so-called emotional speech by stating that his father and other relatives are/were police officers which made everything he said redundant. The speech amounted to “I don’t hate cops, my family are cops, that’s why the city gave me this platform. You people shouldn’t be rioting, don’t burn down corporate and governmental buildings or the buildings I own. Did I mention my dad was a cop?”. Never in my life have I seen a rapper tell people to stop fighting. “Killer” Mike should know that peaceful protests do fuck all. It’s only because shit was being burned to the ground that these racist pigs got arrested and charged. Sometimes civil unrest is needed to make the people in charge listen; and if everyone stayed at home, this lynching would never have been exposed in the first place. Wearing an ironic slogan-printed “Kill Your Masters” t-shirt during this whole debacle, like Detective Mills said in Se7en: this killer is a t-shirt at best.

T.I. also came on TV to tell Atlanta citizens to stop protesting and his reasoning was… because ATL is Wakanda. T.I. then walked off like some corny, ’00s rap-battle mic-drop, as though he said something worthwhile and meaningful. After idiotically declaring “this is Wakanda”, he immediately exited stage-right, probably because he needed to book his daughter’s next virginity test on her vibranium hymen. Whilst on the topic of Black Panther, it’s strange how much traction this fictitious story written by a white man has garnered. Moronic minorities would rather evoke an imaginary comic-book locale than represent and defend their actual race when under genuine threat.

All this begs the question: is there something in the Atlanta water supply that breeds celebrity sellouts? I remember when OutKast released their song “Bombs Over Baghdad” in the year 2000 but once 9/11 happened, the song was given a new meaning. White tennis player Jennifer Capriati requested that the song be played as a sign of support for U.S. troops as she entered the court for a match. Troops in Iraq also began playing the song and the new unintended meaning was adopted by many Americans. I say unintended but that’s not exactly true. OutKast’s Big Boi had this pussy-ass response to the song’s new despicable meaning: “I really think Bush should have gone through the United Nations before going over there. But once the fighting starts, everything changes”. He continued… “You have guys over there with families here, and you have to support the troops and pray for them. So, if the song helps them keep their spirits up, I don’t have a problem with that.”. Big Boi neglected to acknowledge that the troops who were playing his pop song were boasting about bombing innocent people, they weren’t “keeping their spirits up” with a sentimental ballad.

This would never have happened in the ’80s and early ’90s, mainly because the white mainstream hadn’t accepted Hip-Hop yet and most of the messages put out there were too offensive for the likes of tennis players to get behind. Had this kind of appropriation of a rap song happened back then, I’d like to think genuine political rappers would have had some gumption to say no, this isn’t what the song means and fuck you for changing it! But no, in the ’00s rappers became spineless, white-dick-licking pricks and it’s because of these weak-kneed fucks that we’ve gone from Muhammad Ali being staunchly against the Vietnam war to a slew of minority sellouts supporting the War On Terror. We’ve gone from Public Enemy’s police-in-crosshairs logo to sellouts joining the police and military, and in case you didn’t realise: the military are just policemen and women flown around the world to continue their racist violence internationally.

In the late ’90s and early ’00s, rappers, who were supposed to be the “black CNN” became the “black Fox News” (just to be clear fuck CNN too but that was a description of Hip-Hop back in the day – telling its people what’s really going on). Hip-Hop-fakes like Dr. Dre began openly supporting illegal wars, Canibus supported Islamophobic troops, even the Wu-Tang name-dropped a dumb, hick president, and now we’ve got these anti-protest wimps who have umpteen relatives in the police department.

To me, Killer Mike always seemed like one of those watered-down MCs who appealed to the white middle-classes. He’s the kind of twat who has a show on Netflix where he superficially attempts to fix racism whilst raising his own profile. How? By not letting a white kid speak over a black child 🙄. Along with El-P’s mundane, hipster fan-base, you know these groups are fake. People asked me why I didn’t mention the likes of OutKast and Run The Jewels in my Hip-Hop Timeline and this is why; I could smell the scent of a flunky a mile off.

After this latest case of blatant racism and hatred by a white police officer, when the unrest eventually dies-down, we’ll in all likelihood have another murder and another murder because America is built on racism and its military and police-force are an extension of that bigotry, in fact it’s there to uphold it. So when rappers tell you to stop rioting, they’re telling you to continue with historical racism. I hope people can now see that celebrities are only elevated to that level of fame because they kowtow to the establishment. They’re walking, talking, performing advertisements for mainstream causes. Hip-Hop whilst underground, was protest music but with lames like these at the forefront, it’s now pusillanimous music.

So thanks to sell-outs like this, Hip-Hop is no longer pro-riot, it’s anti-riot, it’s no longer anti-cop, it’s pro-cop, it’s not anti-war but pro-war, and it’s no longer anti-government but pro-government. There really is no coming back for this once subversive, anti-establishment, anti-mainstream, counter-culture art-form. Rappers have well and truly buried Hip-Hop under a pile of cash, jewels, and fame, they’ve turned it into the very antithesis of what Hip-Hop started out as. Rap is now a middle-class, white middle-America, mainstream pile of trash and we all have chicken-shit sell-outs like this to blame.

Don’t Be Quiet, Riot.

23 replies »

  1. Glad you called out T. I. and Killer Mike.

    Esp t.i. Absolute dunce

    They’re all part of the chess board as part of a larger containment strategy esp k.mike and the democratic party black face recruitment program.

  2. Would you have the same criticism for Ralph Ellison? Have you ever been in a riot? What is your experience with violence? This is one of your articles that in my opinion is not particularly nuanced or insightful. Can you still discern gradients?

  3. Sad really. OutKast’s Aquemini was a classic album, so was ATLiens… And T.I had potential in the original trap game… Atlanta is the land of the fakes… not an ideal place to establish Wakanda.

  4. On the topic of the “police-in-crosshair” logo of PE… I’m pretty sure it’s a black man, who is being targeted by the police and him crossing his hands in protest . At least, that’s what Chuck D said to me on IG…

    • You’re right but for the longest time, fans (me included) saw a state trooper in a reticle. Then Chuck D said it was something different (possibly not to offend mainstream magazines who asked him about it after the group’s crossover success). I wish the logo was more dangerous but I’ll concede that may not be the case.

  5. So you have not read Ralph Ellison or been in a riot in the States. If you had been in a riot, then you would understand that your opinion on them contradicts the first sentence of your Mohammed Ali quote. The criticism of music or attitudes is fine but normally you show more intellectual depth than Smiley from “Do The Right Thing.”

    • Likening someone to a mentally handicapped character because they haven’t read your specific selection of literature from which you’ve formed your entire world view is idiotic and dismissive.

      No, I’ve never read Ralph Ellison but I read that he as a black man in America voluntarily enlisted in the marines hence the sellout comment and the Ali quotes. Nothing contradictory there since the quotes are in relation to fighting a war that benefits the race or class that is oppressing you.

      A riot is a riot, whether in the States or elsewhere; when my city had one, lots of shops, cars etc. were destroyed. You want a black and white response to this: yes, burning down your own neighbourhood is in some ways counterproductive but the destruction of property and the calling of attention to a cause by use of rioting is sometimes necessary. People who criticise riots and protests seem to care more for property than overturning injustice and oppression.

      Most businesses have insurance, a human life is irreplaceable. Write that on a Post-It and stick it over your favourite Ralph Ellison book.

    • And by the way: the CNN building in Atlanta getting fucked up was hilarious although New York’s Fox News studios would have been more apt. My other opinion is that protesters should have picked specific buildings to burn down. For instance a police station, court, etc. would have been more appropriate than a Target but you can’t always pick and choose what a massive crowd will do (a crowd in which there are always agent provocateurs).

  6. I’m peeved off that no one’s going after government buildings. I guess they all think Joe “I helped start the war on drugs” Biden will help them. I disagree with you politically to an extent, but I definitely agree that riots are needed to change things (especially towards Justice buildings where the problem is and has been).

  7. I don’t get the analogy of calling the military and police “pigs”. Like sure they’re disgusting but at least they have a purpose (bacon, need I say more?). I like to see them as more of cockroaches, only medntally insane people eat them or hell, actually like them…

  8. 1 of 2 comments.

    I was a student & freelance dj producer on pirate radio & sound systems in the West Midlands in 1990. I had an agent & some of the artists seeking deals or production had managers. I was very selective & refused to work with anyone who was disingenuous or disgraced themselves or my culture. Hip hop on mainstream radio was limited to a hour per week with Jeff Young ,Pete Tong in my region. Many acts I came into contact with were requested to change there name or dilute the sound to make it more accessible. I walked away from that scene in 1992 when I realised that people who look like me are culturally incompatible.

    Public Enemy was a very influential group & attracted a lot of whites at shows & there was no racial conflict. The band ousted Professor Griff because he made some comments about Jews. Flava flav was the most popular hypeman of that era.

    I respect Pe’s contribution but im bemused that they allowed flava flav & his tv shows to undermine them. The US networks had batchelor themed shows where woman competed for a mate.And some executive decides that Flava flav whose a father of many children & substance issues & arrests was a good candidate.

    Onyx was a clone of a group named the The Cutthroats. Onyx & their faux rebellious bald head image came to the Uk & encouraged fans to destroy local property & businesses for no reason.

    There were also lot of fake afrocentric groups around 1988 but they switched up when nihilism was more profitable. King tee started as a Rakim clone then switched up.

    The Uk had a supergroup named B.R.O.T.H.E.R who collaborated with Bernie Grant on a song to oppose apartheid. ( Beyond The 16th Parallel ) then switched

    Massive attack changed their name to massive during the Gulf War. Bbc radio had a playlist of content which was considered unsuitable & John Lennons – give peace a chance was on it.

    Grandmaster Melle Melle was endorsing Jesse jackson for presidency on his album in the 80s then larping as player pimp in the 90s.

    Hip Hop is entertainment everything else is secondary. Hip Hop absorbs everything & can be anything but the musical component is just entertainment.

    • I never heard Onyx’s earlier single “And We Do Something Like This” until recently, I just assumed The Cutthroats and Onyx came up at the same time so one hadn’t copied the other. I guess making an overt anti-white album All We Got Iz Uz only for Sticky Fingaz to do a song with Eminem on his solo LP was a clue to their fake/sellout past.

      Musicians of all genres are always selling out: Neil Young after 9/11 for example. It’s annoying because a lot of these sellouts are actually decent at rapping/singing but their political u-turns makes their entire discography fake in retrospect.

      P.S. I can’t find your second comment.

    • And BTW: sellouts occur in reverse too. For instance UKIP and Seth Rogen posting support for Black Lives Matter when a few years ago they were trying to stop immigration/hire a far-right racist and making fun of Korean’s language/food respectively…

      It’s in the entertainment industry’s interests right now to show they’re not racist but Eminem being against Trump when he made a racist song or Howard Stern being anti-Asian racism (in regards to COVID-19) when he was Islamophobic post 9/11 is flip-flopping and false. Thinking of a race/culture as worthy of contempt is part of the problem and these celebrities were all bigots in one form or another. No it’s not as bad as murdering someone but racist ideas are what lead to racist actions.

  9. Comment 2 of 2 re-posted. Uk perspective 1980s to 1995 (bad grammar is intentional )

    Hip Hop was not pro riot or anti establishment in my realm & we never cared about class, that revisionist narrative came afterwards.Managers & Agents also advised acts to be uncooperative or controversial in interviews.

    Many teens from the late eighties ,early nineties were raised on Roots & Dub reggae. Marcus Garvey, Rastafari culture & concepts were common themes & the Usa was always described as Babylon. Public Enemy or any Us political rap or Farrakhan wasn’t saying anything new to many.My elders.. Reggae sound systems & there audiences didn’t even like Hip Hop. Us rappers also didn’t always have a warm welcome as many were materialistic.We used to try & interview the acts on our pirate stations & their content or conduct would be probed. Locals would also try to test them & battle on stage or rob their Jewellery.

    I recall Chuck D stating that they wanted to create hundreds of Black leaders who would enter politics by Millennium.But Public Enemy & the nation of islam were criticised as paternalists, Their sound was also stale by 1991 & the Pro Black edification didn’t work on their own members ( Flava flav was & still is kryptonite) Uncle Luke from 2 Live crew had a Black owned label & people were questioning Chuck in articles why he didn’t sign with them rather than sack Griff.Hank & Keith Shocklee have also stated that they group should have quit after fear of a Black Planet album.

    Public Enemy was invisible by 1996 & was embarrassingly copying Red hot Chilli Pepper choruses. ‘give it up .. give it up now’ There were other groups like X Clan but their not worth expanding on.

    Anecdotes.

    Beastie Boys were viewed as a joke group & kids use to steal BMW badges off cars. Their image & status improved when Hip hop devolved. Run Dmc criticised Derek B when he performed at Live aid. Hijack also had issues with Run Dmc & disrupted one of there parties. Nwa were booed off stage when they came to Uk . Sista Soulja had some legal issues with Bill Clinton. The rapper named.. Paris… had an album portraying the assassination of President Bush. Some of these components may have helped create the narrative of rebellion but their antics & integrity just seem false.

    I recall many Uk acts who used to previously wear African emblems shaving there heads & switching styles once Onyx & Naughty by Nature emerged.A lot of dj’s , producers & rappers migrated to drum & bass jungle genres or retired rather than compromise. Uk rap artists also tried to lobby Parliament to create a Law forcing media to play a higher percentage of homegrown talent as they were overlooked by westwood ,radio one establishments etc ( the irony )

    Ice Cube had a track called… Black Korea & was criticised for encouraging rioting. The Sugarhill record label was created with financial backing from Morris Levy & Sal Pisello who had mafia links. Fast forward to the nineties with rappers larping as mafia kingpins. dr dre also sued Napster.

    -_-

    There’s not much literature on the Uk scene.There’s a Uk movie called.. Welcome II the Terrordome. One of the actors was a rapper named Black radical Mark 2. Also check out the back issues of Hip Hop Connection magazine. Many of the journalists used to write for Nme & the rock press & are still active on social media ( Vie Marshal , Nick Smash , Jamie Dye ) Harry Allen & Nelson George articles are also a good source & can be found within online libraries.

    Hall of shame.

    Schoolly D – Am I black enough for you album.. The production was funky but Schooly was just trend hopping.
    Q tip tweeting iggy about rap culture & integrity after you performed the lyrics on Beastie boys – get it together.

    # I incorrectly wrote King t when I meant King Sun

    • I agree with everything you said except the bit about revisionism:

      Like it or not, Hip-Hop is intrinsically linked with race, class, and the politics of, because it was created by poor, black Americans. Being shunned by the white rich people who owned labels, controlled government, lobbied politicians and whose police worked for them, anything created outside this prejudiced construct is by definition the antithesis of rich, white America.

      The funny thing about the inception of Hip-Hop is you can argue it either way; it was either about block parties and partying or it was about black struggle and revolution. It is possible for it to be both. Given what I said in my previous point however, trying to separate oneself from the politics of being poor, working-class, black, and oppressed is impossible. Given where, when, and by who Hip-Hop music was formed; siding with white, rich, upper-class people, the government, police, military etc. is selling out.

      Hip-Hop arguably started with black spoken word poetry. Gil Scott-Heron wrote “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” which mixed anti-corporate, anti-advertising lines with lyrics about “pigs shooting brothers” but the whole thing stopped short of taking a firm stance on revolution as did The Watts Prophets’ “Dem Niggers Ain’t Playing”. The Last Poets’ “When The Revolution Comes” on the other hand, was much more in your face. With lyrics like “When the revolution comes, transit cops will be crushed by the trains after losing their guns and blood will run through the streets of Harlem drowning anything without substance” and “When the revolution comes, guns and rifles will be taking the place of poems and essays, black cultural centres will be forts supplying the revolutionaries with food and arms” which linked being violent with being revolutionary.

      The whole idea of being against the “partying” and “disco-ing” and instead to be revolutionary stemmed from this. Brother D’s “How We Gonna Make The Black Nation Rise” despite its production/sample is about this as well as violent struggle: “Remember the so-called Indian? Look what they did to him. Maybe they’ll do that to us, dare to struggle. Dare to win. I mean damn, get out of your seat! Damn, get on your feet! We say damn, and I will repeat! We mean damn we’re tired of defeat! Damn! No more sitting around! We say damn, it’s time for throwing down! Damn. Let’s even the score, ’cause we’re fired up and won’t take no more.”

      Songs like X-Clan’s “Day Of Outrage: Operation Snatchback” and Geto Boys’ “City Under Siege” spoke about protests, riots, and the police and they never said “don’t riot” (although they didn’t tell people to riot either). Because of the commercial nature of music, it is always watered-down as soon as a price tag is put on it. Musicians don’t want to be accused of inciting violence and their livelihood taken away so almost all lyrics are ambiguous. But if you judge Hip-Hop by its sentiment, it’s always been anti-establishment and therefore pro-rioting. Protesting and rioting is always part of the imagery of revolution and therefore Hip-Hop (although a sad fact is protesting and/or rioting doesn’t always work).

      In any case, this article was about specific rappers. T.I. telling black people in Atlanta that it’s “Wakanda” is moronic since Atlanta is in America and is therefore under the thumb of the same racist institutions as say, Alabama. Allowing white troops to appropriate a song is also selling out since the military are oppressing people of colour around the world at the behest of a racist government. Also, when the police are over-run in a riot, the next step is bringing the military in. Donald Trump brought up the Insurrection Act of 1807. The idea of declaring people terrorists and then responding to them with the military is coming home to roost. Doesn’t all that military-dick-licking and ignoring/approving of post-9/11 laws look stupid now? It’s not just foreign brown people on the brunt of the military, it’s now white, black, and brown American rioters, so I’d add sell-outs like Tech N9ne who performs for the troops to this list as well as Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, and Carlos Mencia. Bottom line: if you’re a P.O.C. in the West, you’re a second-class citizen. Getting all happy when it’s not your race/creed under threat is dumb because when that race/religion stops being the target you’re next. The one positive of these protests is that I see people of all colours, religions, and ages coming together and if that takes the form of a riot, so be it. It’s not wrong to be angry and anger has always been part and parcel of Hip-Hop.

      Back to this article: there’s a few Killer Mike/Run The Jewels lyrics in which he readily uses the term “pig” only to come on TV to tell everyone that he has multiple relatives in the police force. This isn’t the only time he’s been contradictory. When Bill Maher used the term “house nigger” on his show, it was Killer Mike who said black people had “bigger things” to be mad about… but now, when these bigger things came up, he told them not to riot! That’s selling out 101, in fact I sometimes wonder if acts like him are purposely pushed to the fore so that their fake opinion can be heralded by white media as the right thing to do and think (kIlLeR mIkE iS rEvOlUtIoNaRy!). The man is an establishment stooge. Fuck him.

  10. I don’t know if these sentiments have been expressed or before.I just want to emphasise that the components that are used to create this site also apply to the authors & contributors.

    1 Who owns this site?
    2 How many people are involved ?
    3 Who writes edits , researches the articles & chooses the subject?
    4 What is the background , age ,income ,class ,ethnicity , sexuality political affiliation etc etc of the author?

    A response is not required as it could all be fabricated.But someone will question the Authors motivations when discussing provocative topics in the spirit of Whatiswrong.

    I always use the same username & try to substantiate my comments with sources. You can also find more about me & my relationship with the industry in the Mobo topic.

    Anyone encouraging rioting needs to be more transparent & show their presence.

    I also challenge the Author to create a separate topic on any forum they request & I will debate them & prove that Hip Hop was not pro rioting pro anti establishment.

    I hope this comment is also approved & shown in the spirit of Whatiswrong

    • 1. I AM NOT INCITING OR ENCOURAGING RIOTING. My opinion is that rioting is NOT inherently wrong. Since you’re so into facts and sources, please quote the passage where I told people to riot.
      2. A violent uprising or revolution can eventually be spoken about with great respect but only when it’s by certain demographics I suppose? The American or French Revolutions were fine but please stop all minorities from merely kicking-in panes of glass; you know how ridiculous and potentially bigoted that sounds?
      3. Like you said, any answers that I give to your personal questions could be fabricated (as could yours) so what’s the point in answering them? But like you, I always use the same username and substantiate my comments.
      4. You act like you’re so transparent but your info could be fake, especially when you’re using a screen name and an email address that also contains a pseudonym. All I have is your made-up name, a nondescript email and you think that’s enough to request my date of birth and blood type?
      5. And then you’re going to judge my opinions based on my ethnicity, race, religion, age, gender etc.? WTF?
      6. “the components that are used to create this site also apply to the authors & contributors” doesn’t really make sense. I assume you mean since this site criticises people, it should also be criticised. Go ahead and criticise it, nobody’s stopping you.
      7. Hip-Hop is art, it’s not created by a single entity like a robot. You find a couple of songs, I find a couple of songs, we quote them but none of that is definitive proof of anything. You can apparently PROVE without a shadow of a doubt that ALL of Hip-Hop including ALL artists are ALL thinking the same way? GTFOH!
      8. You do realise that Hip-Hop existed before your very specific late-80s-to-early-90s UK scene? A lot of the lyrics I brought up in my previous comment predate yours by a decade or so.
      9. I didn’t pluck my answers out of thin air, I used actual quotes from actual songs in the comment that got you so passively irate. And now you want me to go to some random forum so you can “debate” me? What do you think we’re doing here?
      10. If I wrote the same article about Rock music would you be here telling me what’s acceptable to think and say? Sounds suspect.
      11. You sound like certain opinions offend you and you want to instantly shut those opinions down. Very much like the one-side response to this protest. It’s fine when white men protest and air their views but minorities get tear gassed and beaten down. This prejudice construct is why I’m not against rioting and if you think long and hard about underground music and the concept of freedom, you should be agreeing with me, not trying to derail my OPINIONS.
      12. When a demographic has no political power and is oppressed, sometimes their only option is to riot. Hip-Hop was birthed from the aftermath of The Civil Rights movement not in The Midlands during the ’80s.
      Martin Luther King Jr Quote
      Malcolm Little Quote

    • thelement wrote::

      “Onyx & their faux rebellious bald head image came to the Uk & encouraged fans to destroy local property & businesses for no reason.”

      He/she are inferring that there *can* be legitimate reasons to destroy properties and businesses i.e. rioting. Someone could interpret that as provocative too.

      “Anyone encouraging rioting needs to be more transparent & show their presence.”

      Just saying..

    • Ha ha.

      It’s odd that most people were fine with two wars as a measured and just reaction to three buildings being destroyed (that’s hundreds of thousands of foreign people killed as a response to just over two thousand people killed). Violence is an appropriate reaction when white people in power decide it is, but minorities had better stay peaceful. I don’t have time for hypocrisy.

  11. I love Killer Mike and Outkast. T.I. always sucked though. To me he’s not an artist like the other two. And your criticism of Killer Mike only led to another person on here calling the Democratic Party a blackface recruitment program (obviously a conservative). Run the Jewels has really impressed me. I know you think Kendrick Lamar and J Cole are overrated and I can understand that. But Run the Jewels reminds me a lot of Rage Against the Machine. The singer of that band is even collaborating with them on their newest record. I could hate the shit out of someone like Post Malone with you all day. But I don’t think Run the Jewels deserves to be mentioned so badly on this site.

    • Sellouts come in many forms, and like I said in a comment above, sometimes they’re talented but that doesn’t negate from the daft shit they’ve done or said. If talent outweighed actions, probably half of this site’s content would not be here.

      And BTW, the commenter you’re referring to has left many replies which denounce conservatives too so that’s not accurate. The Democrats in the US or Labour here in the UK aren’t free of racism, sexism, misogyny, xenophobia, jingoism etc. Two sides of the same coin.

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