27. Killer Mike "Reagan" (2012)
In two scathing verses, Killer Mike indicts blind or apathetic politicians and entertainers and makes it clear that their popularity is not power. Actual influence, he says, belongs to "the country's real masters," lobbyists funding campaigns and corporations doling out dollars for endorsement deals, manipulating the in-crowd like puppets to control the masses that take cues from them.
Drawing parallels between financially-focused rappers (himself included) and actor-turned-U.S. President Ronald Reagan, whose sound bytes from the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal make him sound like a pawn in his own administration, Killer finds that the price for just going along with the system is steep: "Our people starve from lack of understanding/'Cause all we seem to give them is some balling and some dancing/And some talking about our car and imaginary mansions/We should be indicted for bullshit we inciting."
Who needs critics with this level of angry introspection? â€”Justin Monroe