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- COURTESY OF KILLER MIKE
- With songs such as "Burn," Killer Mike's 2011 release, PL3DGE, anticipated the Occupy uprising.
Balls and My Word Award — Killer Mike is the Hosea Williams of this rap shit — unbought, unbossed, and perennially unsung. Just like the deceased bullhorn-toting Civil Rights leader in his trademark overalls, Mike's at his best when he makes the kind of wretched working class anthems that probably do little to sustain his bottom line. His May 2011 release, PL3DGE — the third installment in his esteemed I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind series, and a near-perfect preamble to the Occupy uprising — is easily the most relevant sociopolitical statement of the year from a big-name MC/Grammy winner. Whether he's pulling Diddy's billionaire boys club card, reminding a certain White House occupant of the pervasive injustice in the black community, or calling Bishop Eddie Long out for his flagrant toupee (and other alleged indiscretions), Mike gets off on speaking truth to power. Which is why his fiery sermonette at a church rally in Jackson, Ga., hours before the state executed Troy Davis, was true to form. While certain hip-hop elitists attempted to show solidarity with #OWS, few could speak like Mike without contradicting their lyrical content. In a year when the made men of the genre were busy genuflecting before the powers-that-be, Killer Mike represented American defiance at its finest. — RC
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