Did Killer Mike fall for the NRA hustle by doing video appearance?

The "Run the Jewels" rapper took major heat for his appearance with the pro-gun group, but did they pull a fast one on him?

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

There’s a lot to love about Killer Mike. He’s a dope rapper, doting husband and father, small business owner, social and political activist, and he has consistently spit out smart, high-quality music.

A few years ago, I even went so far as to write an open letter to him to gush about the greatness of his R.A.P. Music album. So if I, super fan, am disappointed in Killer Mike right now, you know it’s serious.

Over the weekend, a Killer Mike interview started making the rounds online. Clad in a t-shirt that read “End Racism,” he talked about about how important it is to protect the Second Amendment and he encouraged Black people to arm themselves. The rapper often uses his social media accounts to explore those topics, so the substance of the interview wasn’t shocking, but the the platform was.

READ More: Why the NRA uses Black faces in its anti-gun control campaigns

Killer Mike’s interview was for NRA TV, which is essentially the marketing arm of the National Rifle Association, an organization that has a long track record of doing Black folks dirty. From their hypocritical stance on gun control in the 1960s when the Black Panthers were arming themselves, to their silence on the death of legal gun owner Philando Castile, the NRA has proven time and time again that they only want that precious Second Amendment right to go to certain kinds of people (read: not us).

NRA hasn’t been a friend

So, it was shocking that Killer Mike, a man who started a campaign to get people to support Black banks, would allow himself to fall for the okey doke from an organization with a well-documented history of trampling on Black people’s rights.

Of course, the NRA used the interview for their own purposes. They released it on the same day as inspiring teen activists helmed the March For Our Lives rallies all over the country to push for gun reform.  The NRA also added an introduction from Colion Noir where he disparaged the march and the teens who organized it.

“What are you really marching for? Because from where I’m standing, it looks like a march to burn the Constitution and rewrite the parts that you all like in crayon,” Noir said with a straight face.

It is a tired strawman argument. Literally, no one is advocating for the Second Amendment to be repealed. The NRA has used this boogeyman tactic for years and it never makes sense. Hey guys, responsible gun ownership is totally cool. We just don’t want people who are not in the military to have military-grade weaponry. Pretty simple.

Most of Killer Mike’s commentary in the video were in line with what he’s been saying about allyship, gun control, and uplifting Black people. He did say this curious bit though: “I told my kids on the school walkout: ‘I love you—if you walk out that school, walk out my house…’ 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.”

Et tu, Killer Mike?  I understand teaching your kids to think for themselves and not to just blindly follow other people. That makes sense. But why belittle #NationalSchoolWalkOut Day? Again, no one wants to take all guns away from citizens. #NationalSchoolWalkOut Day was about advocating for safe schools and having guns where they belong (not in the hands of teachers in classrooms).

Killer Mike now says the bit about kicking his kids out was a joke.


The NRA weaponized Killer Mike’s interview and lobbed it directly at the March for Our Lives organizers. I would have expected nothing less from the NRA. They are not exactly known for subtlety.

READ MORE: Black woman says NRA was created to arm people; she’s wrong

Of course Black Twitter let Killer Mike have it. I figured he would defend his decision to go on NRA TV as a strategic move on his part to get his message out and he did, but he also took a sharp left turn from reality when he said NRA TV and CNN were basically the same thing.

That’s just absurd. NRA TV is not a news organiztion. Period.

Killer Mike spent a good amount of time over the weekend respondingto his critics and supporters. Eventually, he released a two-part “apology” video that did not include a real apology.

He addressed the March For Our Lives youth organizers directly. “I’m sorry that an interview I did about a minority, Black people in this country and gun rights was used a weapon against you guys. That was unfair to you and it was wrong and it disparaged the very noble work you’re doing,” he said.

Basically, he blamed everything on NRA TV as if he didn’t accept their invitation to be on the show. Killer Mike is a very intelligent guy who thinks critically and uses his words with intention. I find it hard to believe that he had an “aww shucks” moment here and did not anticipate that the NRA would use the interview in the exact way that they did.

Doing too much

It’s disappointing and I still don’t understand the end goal. Gun control and Second Amendment rights are already trending news topics. He didn’t need to hop on NRA TV to do that and on the subject of Black people and responsible gun ownership, any number of outlets would have been a better choice than an anti-Black organization that spews hateful rhetoric.

It’s also disappointing that he apparently needs to take another look at Black Panther. In his ill-advised NRA TV interview he said “In Wakanda, everyone had guns.” Le sigh.

Wakanda immigration issues aside, Killer Mike will be feeling the heat from this dust-up for a long time.

I’m betting that in the near future, he will elaborate further on his reasoning for agreeing to such an interview, knowing that he would almost certainly be used to bash this current youth activist movement. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” doesn’t cut it.

Some seem ready to turn in their Killer Mike fan cards.  R.A.P. Music still bangs and I’m always anticipating Run the Jewels releases, so I’m still a Killer Mike fan. But I really hope this is not the beginning of a shift in his politics or tactics. Killer Mike has a loud and important voice that we can’t afford to have used against us.

READ MORE: NRA suing Florida after governor signs new gun laws

If he intended to dampen the spirit of the March for Our lives movement (which I don’t think he did), that’s a problem because that would mean this guy was playing the long con. If he genuinely got taken by the NRA, that’s a problem too because it’s insane to not see that play coming.

I don’t think Killer Mike is in the sunken place as some Twitter users have suggested, but he definitely got lost somewhere between Zamunda and Wakanda. Come on home, man.

Follow Demetria Irwin on Twitter at @Love_Is_Dope and connect with her on Facebook.