Killer Mike discussed his friendship with Bernie Sanders, how the quarantine affected his chain of barbershops and his controversial meeting with Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia during an interview Friday on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
In September, the Run the Jewels rapper revealed that he met Kemp — who Kimmel called a “bonehead” for reasons including his handling of the state’s coronavirus quarantine — at the governor’s office; earlier this week, Kemp went to one of Killer Mike’s barbershops for a haircut.
“People were upset, and now I don’t understand because when you pay taxes in this municipality — including city, state and county — you should want to meet with your county officials,” Killer Mike said of the meeting.
“[My grandmother] and grandfather were really sure to raise me to be a responsible member of the community, and that responsibility is not just about taking care of your own yard, taking care of bigger community. So I think you should meet with elected officials, and I had the opportunity to meet with the governor and I wanted to talk to him about trades with young people in Georgia, getting an opportunity to get trades to get ahead of the curve. I wanted to also talk to him about in particular things like how many contracts on the state level black businesses are getting. How much of our state money goes into black institutions?”
While Killer Mike drew criticism for sitting down with the Republican governor, the rapper said some good came out of the meeting. “I would like to thank the governor for being a man of his word: The trades program is happening, we’re going to get a lot of kids in Georgia in trades, we’re going to get a lot of jobs,” Killer Mike told Kimmel.
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I wanna thank my potna Bear Loc (@higherlevelbear) for coming thru with me today as I met with @govkemp. 🐻 Here is what Bear Had to say and I am truly humbled by his words: “This man is working for us even when we don’t see it. I witnessed Michael Render (Not Killer Mike) sit with The Governor of Georgia and give him honest salt of the earth talk on behalf of “Black Boys and Men”, “Barber Busines” & “The Ga Justice initiatives he supports”. Lemme add he has been informed by Local grassroots leaders, Judges and Lawyers he knows and trust and his Homies that are currently serving life. Mike is really the real deal. He ain’t just tapping and rapping. He is about the #plotplanstrategizeorganizeandmobilze move! #AlwaysRolliN #Mybrotherskeeper #Warrior”! Thank U @higherlevelbear. Thank my community and all that advised me on talking points for our community and the wider community. I will say I was welcomed with respect. I was heard and our exchange was productive. I look forward to helping Georgia increase it’s 2% Govt state contract participation to 10-15 % (and greater) participation.! This state can with all its business interest can become an example of what a southern progressive economy can be. This is the 1st of many real and frank conversations to be had. Thank U @govkemp and your staff for the day. #ThankAllThoseWhoCounselMe #YallsInfoHelpsMeBeBetter #ThankMyBrothersAndSisters #ThankAllGeorgiansWhoReallyWork! #IWillContinueDoingMyBestForUs
Kimmel also asked Killer Mike if he maintains his friendship with Bernie Sanders, who the rapper supported during the Democratic primaries.
“Man, I talked to the OG. He said he doesn’t think people should call him on his birthday, so I think I just shot him a text message, but he called me on mine. And we talk about once every month or so,” Killer Mike said. “I talk to Ben from Ben & Jerry’s [ice cream] weekly though. He’s one of the OGs that really knows how to use technology.”
Kimmel then noted how marijuana would soon be legal in Vermont, home of Sanders and Ben & Jerry’s. “I’d definitely love to smoke with Ben and Bernie,” the rapper admitted.