Killer Mike’s self-titled album, “Michael,” arrives as a much-needed antidote to the state of hip-hop. It is precisely what I, and perhaps countless others, have been yearning for. The project boasts production credits from heavyweight talents like NO I.D, Cool and Dre, and DJ Paul, while also featuring an array of guest appearances and additional vocals from the likes of CeeLo Green, Rico Wade, Dave Chappelle, Young Thug, 6lack, Jagged Edge, André 3000, Future, Ty Dolla Sign, 2 Chainz, Currensy, Fabo, Jason McGee & the Choir, and more. Reminiscent of Scarface’s critically acclaimed “The Fix,” “Michael” has the potential to reign as the album of the year.
“Something for the junkies” stands tall among the tracks, offering a heartfelt exploration of the strained relationships between addicts and their families from a human perspective. By giving a voice to those lost in the clutches of substance abuse, Killer Mike brings attention to the pain experienced by our own family members who suffer from addiction. Notably, he collaborates with Atlanta’s own Fabo, a renowned MC who has faced his own battles with addiction, adding a poignant layer of authenticity to the track. For those who have anxiously waited by the phone or mourned the loss of loved ones due to overdose, this song strikes a deeply personal chord.
As someone who experienced the loss of my mother at the onset of the pandemic in 2020, the track “Motherless” strikes a chord deep within my soul. It guides listeners through the painful processes of grief and the persistent void left behind when mothers and mother figures depart from our lives. However, let it be known that “Michael” is not solely a somber affair. Tracks like “Down By Law,” featuring CeeLo Green on the hook, and “Run,” featuring Young Thug with a poignant and inspirational intro by Dave Chappelle, inject a much-needed vigor into the album. They elevate our energy levels while simultaneously grounding us in the raw reality of our collective struggles, urging us to move forward as a united force.
And let us not forget the sheer brilliance displayed in both production and verses, particularly those delivered by the elusive André 3000, who emerges after a three-year silence, Future, and Eryn Allen Kane on “Scientists and Engineers.” These tracks delve into the intricacies of the digital revolution and its profound impact on Black America and the hip-hop culture.
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Killer Mike’s meticulous attention to detail is evident throughout Michael, released just as the summer heat begins to intensify. In this album, he anchors us in faith, perseverance, and hope, taking the time to delve into real issues, his own life experiences, and our collective struggles. His lyrics’ vulnerability is refreshing and inspiring, serving as a reminder of the power of authenticity in art. As I’ve had the album on repeat for the past week, I can confidently say that Killer Mike has not disappointed. Big Bro, Mike, your Mama, and your Grandmama would undoubtedly be proud. ‘Michael’ stands as a powerful testament to your artistry and a testament to the collective resilience of Black people. ✊🏿
Killer Mike takes us on a profound journey akin to a Ghetto Gospel. Michael is a prophetic masterpiece that demands attention and reverberates with the essence of our existence. This album is a call to action, a rallying cry for change, and a testament to the strength and resilience of the Black community. With an unwavering dedication to truth and authenticity, Killer Mike solidifies his position as an artistic visionary and a fearless advocate for the voiceless. With its unwavering belief in faith, perseverance, and hope, Michael reminds us that music can illuminate our path even in the darkest times.