EXCLUSIVE: After Grammy wins, Killer Mike shares family news; mum on security ‘mess’

The rapper and activists talks to the AJC about big family news, his awards sweep and ‘that mess’ with security
Killer Mike accepts the award for best rap album for "Michael" during the 66th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Killer Mike accepts the award for best rap album for "Michael" during the 66th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Killer Mike won three Grammy awards yesterday, but the rapper and activist said his biggest moment came this morning.

“What sticks out to me the most has nothing to do with last night,” he said. “I woke up to a phone call that my son who’s been waiting on the kidney for the last two and a half years is on way to his hospital right now to get surgery, to get the kidney.”

Killer Mike was still in Los Angeles, heading to the airport to get back for his youngest son’s — 21-year-old Pony Boy Render — surgery, when he spoke exclusively with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Michael,” the rapper and activist’s first solo album in over a decade, won the award for best rap album.

The album single, “Scientists and Engineers,” won the award for best rap performance and best rap song. It was a clean sweep, followed by an ugly mix up that found Killer Mike’s hand wrapped up in a different set of hardware: handcuffs.

According to LAPD, Killer Mike was detained after being in a physical altercation. He was booked on a misdemeanor battery charge. While detained, he told the AJC via text message that “Over zealous security” was to blame for the incident. When asked again today about what happened, the Adamsville native kept it unsurprisingly mum.

“Man, ain’t nobody talking about all that mess. I walked on with three Grammys. I took beautiful pictures, man. I got the job done and it was a beautiful time. I swept an entire category yesterday. That’s what I got to say about it,” he said.

It’s not clear if Killer Mike was able to make it back into the show that saw Jay-Z drop truth bombs on the academy about Beyonce’s lack of wins for album of the year, and rappers performing on stage without their merits being acknowledged in primetime by the Recording Academy.

Despite feeling like he won the Super Bowl, Killer Mike’s biggest Grammy moment was not televised. Drake and other artists took to social media before, during and after the show to question its relevance to hip-hop and rap music. Killer Mike says he hears and understands the criticism when asked how felt about his win not being broadcast on network television.

“All we can do as fans is encourage the Academy to televise it. I think it’s a worthy encouragement and I think the more excited we are and about hip hop, the more excited [the Academy] will be,” he said. “We should be celebrating it more in every avenue we can. Whether it is showing it on the Grammys or BET Hip Hop awards, the Urban One Honors. Anytime we have to celebrate the culture that was built by a bunch of poor kids in the South Bronx 50 years ago, we should be.”

So, after calling his shot back in November, how does he plan to celebrate? Killer Mike says he’s to take his party into Super Bowl Sunday. This weekend, he is set to join Big Boi for a performances at EA Sports Presents The Madden Bowl in Las Vegas, which also includes sets from Green Day and Breland.

A die-hard Atlanta sports fan, Killer Mike says he is not leaning either way in the Super Bowl. Instead, he’s eager to see what happens with the Atlanta Falcons new staff, and said the city’s fans need a winner. For now, he hopes Atlanta can bask in the musical victories secured by one of its most prominent native sons.

“I said a few weeks ago at a Hawks event and during the MLK Day, me winning, this would be like the Braves, and Hawks and Falcons winning. Someone thought that was an overreach. When I get home with these Grammys, they’re going to see how much this means to Atlanta because ‘Michael,’ as an album, wasn’t just about me,” he said. “It was about me and this city, this beautiful, wonderful city nestled in the south that creates opportunities and makes winners.”

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