Killer Mike is an interesting individual. The Atlanta Native has recently been quoted saying some pretty outlandish things. A couple weeks ago he stated that he legitimately feared that he might be killed over the content of his lyrics. First of all, why should a man like Killer Mike fear anything? The guy sounds like a mix between Scarface and Ice Cube when he spits and has the physique of an NFL linebacker. However, despite his daunting appearance, Killer Mike displays a seldom seen less intimidating side on his latest album, Pl3dge. Pl3dge is the third installment of Mike’s “Pledge Allegiance To The Grind” series and features appearances from some of southern rap’s biggest names including Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane and T.I.. Pl3dge is one of Killer Mike’s better albums to date, and is easily his most well rounded. So If Killer Mike was indeed to be to be killed over his raps, he likely wouldn’t go down in history as some revolutionary rapper such as Tupac or The Notorious B.I.G., (who both envisioned their demise) but he would definitely be remembered as a MC who went out in his prime.
In the rare event that Killer Mike actually got popped over his lyrics, it would most likely be due to the song “That’s Life 2”. While it may be slightly extreme, “That’s Life 2” is a commendable song because it shows that Killer Mike is obviously not afraid to speak his mind (even if it means risking his life). In the song Mike shares many of his social and political opinions and gets pretty controversial in his second verse when he targets the catholic church with the comical (yet accurate) bars “What I’m touchin’ on next, you might want to leave the kitchen / Cuz I’m touchin’ on that touchy subject that they call religion / Kinda touchy like that religion that’s touchin’ on your children / But no body want to talk about that touchin’ and feelin’”.
One of the more realistic statements Killer Mike has made regarding the album is that “Pl3dge is a pledge to himself”. This is especially evident on songs like “Follow Your Dreams” and “So Glorious”, both of which are motivational cuts that take listeners through Mike’s journey toward musical success. Other songs that display Pl3dge as a vow towards Mike and his southern roots include the laid back cruising music “Players Lullaby” as well as the dirty trap joint that is bound to get listeners hyped called “Go Out On The Town”. The fact that Killer Mike can drop a conscious song like “That’s Life 2″ then follow up with a party banger like “Go Out On The Town” really speaks to Mikes range as an artist.
Regarding production, the best beats on the album can be found on the No I.D. produced single “Ready Set Go” featuring T.I. and the song “Swimming”. “Swimming” is a real funky blend of electronic and soulful sounds crafted by Flying Lotus who is one of the most respected names on the electronic/experimental scene. Killer Mike deserves mad props for doing a track with Flying Lotus because it is always respectable when artists from different genres come together to create innovative music. The unique sound of the beat and Mike’s laid back swag when he spits smooth lyrics like “She got a Bugatti body I wanna run that / And she a hard to kill thrill where my gun at” make “Swimming” one of the best cuts on Pl3dge.
The only track that isn’t tolerable is “Animal” featuring Gucci Mane. “Animal” is just another one of those “B.MF.” knockoffs accept the ridiculous elephant noises throughout the chorus make this one sound like it was recorded at the zoo.
From start to finish Pl3dge is a diverse album that distinguishes Killer Mike from the majority of his dirty south peers. It will undoubtedly be bumped and praised by trap heads south of the Mason Dixon line but will also be enjoyed by those who tend to gravitate more toward conscious rap. Pl3dge puts Killer Mike somewhere between Meek Millz and T.I. on the Grand Hustle pyramid, but probably closer to Tip at the top.
4 Mics Out Of 5 Mics