Album: R.A.P. Music
Label: Williams Street
Rapping about politics has become taboo of late. Gone are the days of Chuck D and Ice Cube making music that challenged race relations and government oppression while still selling CDs. For many rappers, speaking on politics does not extend further than namedropping Barack Obama. Amidst that rubble of aloofness stands Atlanta's Killer Mike.
Last year, Mike and Brooklyn's double threat El-P came together to drop R.A.P. Music, an album that ambitiously tackled mature subject matter in a cohesive and enjoyable manner. The album was one of the best projects of 2012, and "Reagan" served as a standout example of why.
Nobody is safe from Mike's critique. He calls out rappers for perpetuating stereotypes but also takes the government to task for funneling the drug trade and subsequently creating a penal system that serves as modern day slavery. He takes things one step further, claiming that Reagan and Obama were both mere puppets being controlled by the strings of America's powerful business interests, pointing out that both men sent troops into Libya during their presidency.
Mike's unabashed commentary closes with a bold declaration: "I'm glad Reagan dead." How many other rappers would go that far? —Dharmic X