Today, April 20, is the 43rd birthday of Atlanta rapper Killer Mike. As an active MC since the late '90s and currently one half of the hip-hop group Run the Jewels with El-P, Michael Render a.k.a Killer Mike has long since been a respected voice in the rap game.

After linking up with The Beat Bullies and Outkast in his native Atlanta, Killer Mike began to make his rounds as a buzzworthy feature artist in the early 2000's. Mike released his debut album, Monster in 2003 showcasing his own personal version of Southern bounce. Monster birthed the single "A.D.I.D.A.S." featuring Big Boi and Sleepy Brown and peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200. Mike Bigga followed that up with I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind in 2006 and I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind II in 2008.

Killer Mike formed rap duo Run the Jewels with rapper/producer El-P in 2013 after the two collabed on Mike's sixth album, R.A.P. Music. Under Fools Gold Records, Run the Jewels released their self-titled debut album in 2013 for free download and became an instant internet success. The two dropped Run the Jewels 2 October 2014 and have been touring ever since. As a gift to their fans, the duo dropped the Run the Jewels 3 album on December 24, 2016.

Aside from the music world, Mike has been an outspoken political proponent for Democrat Bernie Sanders during Sanders' campaign for president last year. To show their close bond, Sanders introduced Run The Jewels during Coachella 2016. If you didn't know Mike was more than a rapper before that incident, you definitely did then.

Since dropping RTJ 3 at the end of 2016, Mike's continued speaking out about injustice and leaving his mark outside of the rap world. Toward the end of 2017, the lyricist delivered some A-1 bars on an episode of South Park. Months later, at the top of 2018, he, along with his fellow ATLien T.I., were added to the Mayor of Atlanta's official transition team. Dope.

Light one today for the big man! Happy Birthday, Killer Mike!

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