Killer Mike is probably our most politically outspoken rapper, but he’s also a staunch individualist — doing things like supporting Bernie Sanders loudly and passionately while disagreeing with him about gun control. And while most of us were pretty grossed out when Kanye West went to meet with then-President-Elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower last fall — and while Kanye himself seems to have disavowed his support of the man — Mike is the rare rapper willing to say publicly that, in his opinion, it was not a terrible idea.
As SPIN points out, Mike recently addressed the issue while Run The Jewels were doing a recent interview with the UK’s Channel 4. After early Dizzee Rascal supporter El-P talked about grime, the interviewer asked the two of them about West’s meeting with Trump. El just sort of grunted and shook his head, but Mike had a slightly more nuanced take. Here’s what he said:
That didn’t bother me. Why wouldn’t you. Black people shouldn’t have permanent friends or enemies. They should have permanent interest. If it wasn’t for Dr. Martin Luther King being willing to meet with people like [segregation-minded Alabama governor] George Wallace, George Wallace would not have ended up — starting a racist bigot — he ended up he ended a person that had found God in some way, appointed more blacks to his office than any other governor since him. So I maintain hope that all human beings can steer a changed course.
But a musician meeting with a presidential candidate isn’t important to me like Jim Brown [the NFL legend who also met with Trump]. Jim Brown, for the last 50 years, has fought against the oppression of all people. Him sitting with President Trump was a significant thing for me because I know, on the other side of the table, he was telling the truth.
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) April 1, 2017
That point certainly makes sense. At this point, though, we should probably all realize that Trump isn’t willing to listen to anyone except Steve Bannon or whatever gasbag happens to be talking on Fox News whenever Trump turns it on.