Run the Jewels rapper Killer Mike is usually progressive and outspoken on his political and social views. But in an interview with NRATV the rapper had quite the opposite to say about gun ownership and last week’s gun violence-fueled National Walkout Day.
Killer Mike not only defended gun ownership to much surprise, but also criticized National Walkout Day and anti-bullying campaigns in the interview which aired last Saturday. The interview was strategically aired the same day as the March For Our Lives rally in Washington D.C. and around the country.
On the subject of National Walkout Day, Mike said, “I told my kids on the school walkout: ‘I love you. If you walk out that school, walk out my house.” Pretty harsh. Especially in a time when grassroot social rallies are more common.
He went on to explain,”We are a gun-owning family. We are a family where my sister farms. We are a family where we’ll fish, we’ll hunt. But we are not a family that jumps on every single thing an ally of ours does because some stuff we just don’t agree with.”
He also went on to say that he doesn’t support anti-gun protests like March For Our Lives, or stricter gun laws despite his daughter’s experience of a school shooting at Savannah State University.
“Very simply: I’m African-American. You know, 54 years out of apartheid. I’m very pro-Second Amendment, this is why,” he said. “And before you say ‘What about the children,’ my daughter goes to Savannah State University. There was also a shooting on that campus. Talked to my wife and daughter after that, the decision was we’re gonna go to Savannah, she’s gonna get a gun and train more.”
Following the interview and backlash on social media, Mike’s partner El-P came to his defense Sunday night.
“That’s Mike. We know this guy. It’s what sets him apart in his music and his life. He stands up when others can’t or won’t. And yet he’s a person. He stumbles and he makes bad decisions sometimes and he doesn’t always get his messages across or even protect himself and I wanna fuckin’ strangle him cause its so stressful to watch when it could have been avoided. But the fact is Mike is someone I and many of you KNOW consistently and ferociously tries to bring some light and love to this world. You simply can’t deny that. So while I’m bummed at the way this unfolded, I will always fuck with him.”
Although he defended his friend and collaborator, he admits that the two often disagree and debate their differences. El-P’s stance on March For Our Lives is a perfect example.
“I am personally incredibly inspired and blown away by the bravery and emotion of an entire generation of young people standing up and trying to change the world. I’ve watched the awe and excitement as the new wave of young heroes has stepped in and demanded to be heard. These are heroes forged in pain and loss and love,” he said. “They are telling us we have to change. We can not dismiss that.”