(Biz 3) Killer Mike is celebrating his birthday by formally launching the countdown for his new solo album MICHAEL via the release of "DON'T LET THE DEVIL (feat EL-P & thankugoodsir)." MICHAEL marks the celebrated MCs first solo project since 2012's critically lauded R.A.P. Music and serves as an introduction to the totality of Michael Render, a lifelong rap fiend whose consciousness is seeped in the sounds of community that raised him - multiple eras of southern rap flows, Sunday church service, and barbershop discourse.
Speaking on his most autobiographical and independent album to date, Mike states "RTJ is the X-Men, this is my Logan." For the new single Mike linked with his Run The Jewels partner in rhyme EL-P, trading verses over a lilting soul loop produced by No I.D., EL-P, & Little Shalimar. "My favorite group (US) with my favorite producers! It's our 10 year anniversary and MICHAEL is an origin story so I wanted to start w/ El."
"DON'T LET THE DEVIL" arrives in the wake of RTJ announcing a 10 year anniversary run this Fall, the release of their collaborative sneakers with Nike this week, and Mike's recent appearance at SXSW, where he performed an intimate career-spanning show at Stubb's flanked by a choir, and previewed several new songs that are expected to appear on the Atlanta MC's new album. He further brought the album to life at a private listening event in NYC this past Monday, where a couple hundred attendees crowded into St. Ann's & the Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn to hear Mike present the album in his own words.
The single was preceded last year by "RUN (ft. Young Thug)" and "TALK'N THAT SH*T!," his first batch of solo material since linking up with El-P to form Run The Jewels in 2013, who have gone on to create four fanatically received albums and achieved near cultural ubiquity. Mike has also frequently surfaced as a cultural commentator in high regard, from his own shows Love and Respect and Trigger Warning (Netflix), to regular appearances on Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Real Time with Bill Maher, to his stint as a campaign surrogate for Bernie Sanders, to viral moments addressing the public in the wake of the Ferguson verdict and the police killing of George Floyd. Last week he re-asserted his acting bonafides in a cameo on FX's Dave, where the titular rapper agonizes over a perceived Twitter beef with Mike, adding to a growing acting CV that also included an appearance on the last season of Netflix's Ozark.