Killer Mike:
Beautiful Struggle

XXL_Killer_Mike_132Ph.jpgLast summer, Killer Mike was poised to drop Ghetto Extraordinary, his second album and his debut on Big Boi’s new Purple Ribbon label. XXL even reviewed it and gave it an XL (and we hadn’t even heard his fiery additions). He has since appeared on Big Boi Presents Got Purp? Vol. II, a label compilation that features him on the smash single “Kryptonite,” but his solo album stalled after one single. Killer connected with XXLMAG.com to explain why he’s leaving Sony and where he plans to go.

Listen to Killer Mike’s “Niggas Down South” (featuring Bun B)

After your lead single “Chrome” came and went, it seemed like someone pressed pause on Ghetto Extraordinary. What’s going on with Sony and Purple Ribbon?
Sony had grievances with Big Boi because they said he wasn’t doing [enough] promo with me. Big Boi felt that the whole project didn’t get the look it deserved at Sony, so he asked could they sever their business ties, and Sony agreed. As of right now, contractually, I’m still on Sony. They still workin’ out the details of me getting out. I’m in the process of hopefully signing a new deal with another record company. I’m still gonna be on Purple Ribbon, it’s just gonna be another distributor. I have some options. I can’t talk a lot about it.

We heard there were some issues with getting the “Chrome” video that Hype Williams did played…
Yeah, I shot a beautiful video, man. We submitted it then BET decided they would no longer show poles in videos. It’s their prerogative. I just know that from now on, when I do my videos, I will have a copy of the rules and standards—or whatever they may be for that particular week, month, or year—for BET and MTV. BET said they didn’t have a problem with the smoke bein’ blown in the video, but they wouldn’t show the poles. MTV said they wouldn’t show the smoke in the video but they would show the pole. Ultimately, you know, it’s shit I’m used to. My name is Killer Mike, which makes it hard for me to get certain backing and endorsements from certain companies. A band like The Killers, they get great press, they get great reviews. For some reason a 6’3” black man bein’ “Killer” Mike is a lil’ more threatening than a bunch of 5’8” white guys known as The Killers.

Is there any truth to the rumor that Diddy is signing you to Bad Boy to distribute your album?
I can’t talk a lot about it. Honestly, Diddy is a good dude. I’d love to be in business with him. I haven’t discussed it at length beyond the fact that he really is signing Southern artists and helping Southern artists step onto a bigger plateau.

What’s your connection to Diddy?
He been around for years, man, but actually, Big Boi is workin’ on a track with him. Big Boi was just playin’ some music that he had done, and some of the music was from Ghetto Extraordinary. Diddy heard it and liked it. I was glad to see that a cat who’s traditionally known for shiny suits and doin’ shit real big—poppin’ yellow bottles—he really got the grit of my album. That raw Southern hip-hop shit, that’s the shit that he’s goin’ crazy about. He came to town and he didn’t have my phone number—he got my number from a nigga I know in the street. And this nigga [Puffy] is like a half billionaire? That’s pretty impressive.

You don’t think he overshadows artists?
It’s not that Puff takes your shine; you just gotta be a nigga that know how to shine. Puff didn’t take no steam from Ma$e, he didn’t take no steam from Biggie; he added to what they gave. When I saw Biggie in that suit and I seen that lil’ skinny nigga run out next to him in a suit, the nigga who owns the company hype-manning for him, this shows that this is a nigga that, by hook or by crook, is gonna help his artists win. For all the shit niggas talked about dude, if he standing next to you, you know you gonna be in the magazine Monday. If he’s not standing next to you, you’re prayin’ that your publicist is good enough to get you in the magazine.

How soon do you expect to sign a distribution deal somewhere?
Shout-out to the lawyers, I want this thing done in the next couple of weeks.

After papers are signed, will fans finally hear Ghetto Extraordinary?
I want those songs to make it. I feel like there’s a chance they may, but if Sony doesn’t release the album and they only release me, then that puts me in the position of having to create another album. I just don’t have time to wait, sit around, twiddle my thumbs, play with my dick and hope that it happens. I can’t afford to stop while Purple Ribbon and Sony figure their shit out. I started recording another album. I want it out this summer. Right now, I’m in the process of securing an independent deal for Grind Time [Killer Mike’s crew] and us putting out independent music together. Grind Time plans to drop two albums this year. I’m just making sure that we’re establishing our brand, making sure we’re doin’ what we need to do to progress.

You’re building the Grind Time brand, but you’re also part of Big Boi’s Purple Ribbon brand. How do you negotiate that?
Purple Ribbon is the label. Grind Time is the gang. I’m in a gang. If you work for the city and you a Blood from Brooklyn, you’s a Blood. As far as Killer Mike goes on Purple Ribbon, I want my shit played. In terms of the other shit that’s there, I like it, but if there’s one radio slot left, then I need that for that Grind Time rap gang. I want Grind Time to be a presence on the radio.

What do you mean when you call Grind Time a “rap gang”?
Gangs are social organizations formed—most of the time—as protection against an opposing force. My whole shit is we tryin’ to protect each other from this bullshit. I don’t want [other Grind Time members] to have to go through the shit I went through in my recording career.

Previously, there was some tension between you and Andre 3000, and Big Boi can’t love you branding Grind Time when he’s trying to brand Purple Ribbon. What is your relationship like with OutKast right now?
I don’t really have the ability to sugarcoat, kiss ass, play with your dick, tickle your nipple. I always presume or assume I’m talking to someone of equal standing—I don’t give a fuck if they got a million dollars more, a million dollars less than me. I try to treat everyone like they on the same level, shoot straight, tell it like it is, and it’s not a criticism or a critique meant to topple or to bring anybody down. That’s created some tension between me and OutKast. But like I tell ’Dre, “I love you, nigga. You saved my life. You and Big Boi changed my life for the better, so I would never in my life disrespect you.”

How involved will Big and ’Dre be with the new album?
They will not be as involved on this album. OutKast is about to drop a movie [Idlewild]. They about to drop an album. I went into two albums to some degree trying to balance what I wanted to do and satisfying or living up to a certain standard that OutKast had set. But this time I’m just doing what I want to do. All I will have is [songs like] “Never Scared” and “Re-AKshon” on this album. Like “Body Rock”—that verse got my name so fire hot in the street right now. Who the fuck am I to try to get on something else?

  • http://Myspace.com/ChaoticBeats ChaoticBeats

    Man, Killa is a serious and an very important Nigga to this Game.. One of the Hardest poppin lyrical ass niggas in da south.. I think all is sleepin on dude. I mean, is these niggas not listenin. The proof is on wax.. clear your ears…ehh!!! I got Dude back 100%.. need more tracks holla atcha boi… wait till they see what we got goin on,,, King Kong got a squad of gorillas on his team actin a monkey and i’m a fool on the Boards.

  • BEsmirched

    First.

  • DrumMajorMusick (Jubal25)

    Yo that nigga Killa is a beast on the wax, but the problem is that a lot of people get who he is as a rapper mixed up. A lot of people think that his style is Outkast style music, but when yall here what homie got coming to the table on this next album a lot of shit gone change. This nigga is history in the making but I can’t tell you just listen.

  • http://www.myspace.com/geoffdilkes G Off

    Mike- please don’t put out some bullshit like Bubba did with his Whisper Song pt. 3 or whatever it is. Stick with what you do!

  • http://www.myspace.com/tragicallies malcolm
  • http://source one

    the south sucks and i hope killa mike flops no i’m not a hater i just hate ur music. the south is the main reason that hiphop is so fucked now .
    yall niggas down there need to step ur
    game up or just stop rap’n. hip hop doesnt belong wit u ignorant ass country bumpkuns down south it belongs
    in the city where the fast life is not
    on some dirt road.
    much love 2 L.A and N.Y.

  • http://Myspace.com/ChaoticBeats ChaoticBeats

    Who the fuck is this nigga, ^^^ Has to be some lame ass up north nigga tryin to hate on the south cuz our country slang gettin us more shine than fat joes chain, Sucka, No you not a hata, you must be some never will make it rappin ass nigga in the game wit some yo kid’s dick in ya jaw… Fuck boi…

  • bluerid

    i didnt read any of it but i sure was in a struggle with marshall.not anymore i will do whatever the fuck he tells me to do cuz im done talking.

  • http://www.modelingjobbank.com DFleming

    We had the pleasure of our models being used in the “Chrome” video it was hot though unfortunate we couldn’t see it on BET or the other stations. it was a total one love experience Killa is a great guy and modelingjobbank and the girls are forever behind him when he needs us we will be there !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kwan706

    Killer Mike do ya thang I have been waiting for this album.

  • http://www.dungeoneze.com Jesus

    “one Says:

    March 10th, 2006 at 4:55 pm
    the south sucks and i hope killa mike flops no i’m not a hater i just hate ur music. the south is the main reason that hiphop is so fucked now .
    yall niggas down there need to step ur
    game up or just stop rap’n. hip hop doesnt belong wit u ignorant ass country bumpkuns down south it belongs
    in the city where the fast life is not
    on some dirt road.
    much love 2 L.A and N.Y.”

    ______________________________
    ^you are an idiot and have a lot of misdirected anger but i wont give up on you. you blame the south for what you feel is the poor state of hip hop right. are you angered that its overshadowing the east coast hip hop scene? what do you have thats so grand to take its place? with no south around maybe it becomes even more apparent how sorry the east coast music scene has become. all the great non southern albums reviewed in xxl the last couple years are countless infinite right. if you want to never hear of killer mike its easy, but do you really want to go to hell?

  • http://www.freehiphopnow.com Conscious

    Was just listeing to Monster yesterday. Killer Mike is defintely a dope kat. This interview was really boring. And he managed to basically elude that question about Andre.

  • props

    God damn its been to long since you put out an album and I think its about time. I still have the original copy of your first album MONSTER that I bought in 9th grade and ever since i got my first car its been in the CD player.

  • COLLIERHEIGHTS…ATL

    EVERYBLACKPERSONS ROOTS IS FROM THE SOUTH THATS WHY WE R KINGS!!!!!
    KILLER ITS GRINDTIME SEASON TELLEM CUT THE CHECK….!!!!

  • IKI

    Killer Mike ais top dogg yall know that he just needs to get better beats. I’m not all ’bout the beats I’m all bout the lyrics but most of hip hoppers tese days just love the beats so if he want’s to get on the 50 level go & hook up with Scott or Jon. But I think he should keep on the level of DMX (the great) or Ice Cube its bout what you say inni.

  • jon longway

    killer mike….. STOP IT!!!!

  • D$

    Keep goin’ at em, Killa Kil, quieting the “haters” in the process; keep spittin’ the hot written AND freestyle. the south ‘aint seen a versed dude in a minute.
    D$-305

  • Holy

    Killer kill from the ‘ville is one of the most pimpin’ rappa I herd of along with chamillionare!!! Peace

  • stonyisland

    Music aside, I respect Mike, rap needs more stand up black men who dont candy coat shit, create needless beef or kiss the powers that be ass. He seems like a stand up cat. Instead of shitting on Dre he stayed humble, as he said they saved his fucking life. I respect this nigga. The word for today for all you so called thugs and playas is humble. Humble.

  • Bodyguard

    Da South has finally arrived, and ya’ll hoes can’t stand it!!! Much love to da REAL Dirty South m.c.’s like Killa Mike, Pastor Troy, Z-Ro, Playa Fly, and Rick Ross for stayin tru and representin for da street!!! Oh, and remember,”Your ghetto ain’t no harder than mine!!!”

  • http://www.myspace.com/lyrik07 Lyrik07

    I feel ya’ Killer Mike, keep it trill, we support u down here mayne, one-hunned.

  • Nuks

    Big Up Guard’ Real recognise real if ya cd stack look familiar then lets ride for the South, haven’t heard Killer Mikes new sound but I’m copin’ it anyway, Verses are off da chain (Purple Ribbon) Much Love Chef Raekwon! Ghetto Mafia, Trae, Rick Ross, RIP HAWK, UGK, Slick Rick, Bumpy Knuckles, Pastor Troy, Fat Pat, DJ Screw, DJ Quik, Dirty, Geto Boy and Pete Rock!

  • reppindisAshit

    “one Says:

    March 10th, 2006 at 4:55 pm
    the south sucks and i hope killa mike flops no i’m not a hater i just hate ur music. the south is the main reason that hiphop is so fucked now .
    yall niggas down there need to step ur
    game up or just stop rap’n. hip hop doesnt belong wit u ignorant ass country bumpkuns down south it belongs
    in the city where the fast life is not
    on some dirt road.
    much love 2 L.A and N.Y.”
    ______________________________
    Check this out you dumb person. First of all when you say “down south” next time clarify where you are talkin about. I know that you are not talkin about Atlanta, GA. I can’t stand a person who talks shit and don’t know what they are talkin about. You a hata and a lame. Thinking that down South about dirt roads and country grammar. If you can’t afford to travel “down south”, pimp go cop a Raw Report DVD or some shit. Whateva yall have where you are from, we have it too maybe more. Say hata where you from anyway? don’t matter, cause you just have hate in yo blood you were born that way, you gonna stay that way but hopefully not die that way.

  • ***TRUTH***

    KILLA MIKE GOT THAT GHETTO POETRY. STOP HOLDIN’ HIM BACK. DA STREETS NEED TO BE HEARD

  • al

    Yall ignorant and young niggas, I’m from the N.O. an I’m here to say that hip-hop is fucked up, South and North
    There are very few cats making shit that has a soul and fewer cats that will to say fuck the Radio, hip-hop grew with no Radio play remeber that, shit. Yall got twisted, yall think its some Jew nigga fucking up the music, “Wrong” it all these crack dealers and hustlers that flipped it from art and expression into a Product. Southern music has re-gressed but muthafucker are broke an drugs and pussy gon sell . You’z nigga up north been watching to many mobb movies, fyi italian’s hate blacks but yall still want to be fuckin Gambinos and Sopranos. You’z niggas arguing about it with other niggas. Music is bigger then theis world but yall only listen to shit in yall zip codes. Wake Up explore this big muthafucka.

  • http://myspace.com/chaoticBeats ChaoticBeats

    Show love to Killer Mike And Grind Time rap Gang on Myspace… http://myspace.com/grindtimeonline

  • http://Yahoo.com Fuck Da Haters

    Directed towards “one” and “Jon Longway” cuz fuck y’all, niether one of you bitches was complaining when biggie’s fat ass was rappin, Both of u bitches need to shut da fuck up and move around for da SOUTH, Ya’ll had ya’ll turn at the rap game and now it’s ours and we aint passing the Joystick back, bitches, No disrespect to 2pac he was a real nigga, Why u niggas think record labels like Def Jam and Bad Boy have extended their companies to make Def Jam SOUTH and Bad Boy SOUTH cause they know the truth,The SOUTH is getting money, and YOU NIGGAS better get ready cause with states like TEXAS, TENNESSEE, GEORGIA, AND MIAMI that got fire ass underground rappers that’s on they way to the top we got the game on lock for a LONG TIME, CUZ!!!

  • http://www.xxlmag.com young gunna

    killa maine you da truth son

  • Down Bottom Nigga

    Killa Mike Has Some Shit 2 Say. The Real Southern Lyricist are about 2 emerge. Don’t worry about rap now. Da south ain’t done yet…We jus begun

  • BODYGUARD- Camden, GA

    Yeah NUKS, that’s what’s up, these clown ass niggaz can’t stand da fact that Da Dirty runnin shit, but what can they do bout it?!?!

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  • century 21

    Thank you for opening a wonderfully new sight..I wish you the best of luck with your new venture.

  • premium

    good URL!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Ich finde Ihre Homepage sehr gut und fundiert. Die Informationen helfen mir bei einer Diplomarbeit für den Bereich der Medizinischen Dokumentation vielen Dank und weiter so.

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