Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Killer Mike Gives Searing, Tearful Speech in St. Louis Following Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Killer Mike, one half of Run the Jewels. - MICHAEL SCHMELLING/WINDISH AGENCY
  • Michael Schmelling/Windish Agency
  • Killer Mike, one half of Run the Jewels.

Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, who has been outspoken about the police killing of Mike Brown by officer Darren Wilson since the early days, performed in St. Louis with his group Run the Jewels on the night the grand-jury decision was announced.

As the St. Louis and Ferguson areas descended into chaos with tear gas, arson, gunfire and looting, Mike and El-P took the stage at the Ready Room in the Grove, just a mile from the protest site at the intersection of Shaw Boulevard and Klemm Street. They had endured a breakdown of their tour van and nearly had to be picked up in a U-Haul cargo van just to make it to the show. "We have got to be some of the only people trying this hard to get IN to STL right now," El-P said in a tweet.

See also: Run the Jewels Talks Police Brutality and Cat Remixes

When RTJ's set got started Mike wasted no time lambasting the grand jury's decision not to indict Wilson, immediately launching into an impassioned speech with the fiery intensity of a Southern preacher. When he spoke about his sons, his voice cracked as he struggled to hold back tears, saying, "I'm so afraid for them."

"You motherfuckers got me today," he said repeatedly, referring to the prosecutor and politicians who he believes allowed Wilson to go free. "But with that said: You motherfuckers will not own tomorrow."

Mike sent his thoughts and prayers to out to the peaceful protesters, and then did the same to "the people who could not hold that anger in, because riots are only the language of the unheard."

He echoed their anger in his own feelings, explaining, "Before I came out here, there was no peace in my heart, and I wanted to walk out to burn this motherfucker down. Burn this motherfucker down!"

"But I gotta tell you," he continued. "I'm from Atlanta, Georgia, and something said, 'Just look for something Martin King might have said.' So I Googled Martin King, and Wikipedia popped up. And he was 39 years old when you motherfuckers killed him. He was the same age as I am, the same age as El. He was a young man when they killed him."

Mike continued to assert that the issue is not one of race, or class or color.

"It is about poverty. It is about greed. And it is about a war machine. It is about a war machine that uses you as a battery," he said. "So I might go tomorrow. I might go the day after. But the one thing I want you to know: It is us against the motherfucking machine."

With that, Mike yelled "Let's go!" and the duo launched into "Run the Jewels" from last year's album of the same name as the packed, diverse Ready Room crowd danced and sang along.

Watch the video and read the speech below:

First off, I'd like to acknowledge everyone that made it out tonight. I'm very grateful that everyone in this room is here.

I would like to say rest in peace to Michael Brown [speech inaudible due to cheering].

I would like to give all thoughts and prayers to the people who are out there peacefully protesting. And I also give thoughts and prayers for the people who could not hold that anger in, because riots are only the language of the unheard.

We usually come on to Queen's "Champion." And I just gotta tell you today, that man, no matter how much we do it, no matter how much we get shit together, shit comes along that kicks you on your ass and you don't feel like a champion. So tonight, I got kicked on my ass when I listened to that prosecutor.

And I'm gonna tell 'em: You motherfuckers got me today. I knew it was coming. I knew it when fucking Eric Holder decided to resign. I knew it wasn't gonna be good. But I gotta tell 'em: You motherfuckers got me today. You kicked me on my ass today, because I have a [voice cracking] twenty year old son, I have a twelve year old son, and I'm so afraid for them.

You motherfuckers on the other side of [inaudible due to cheering]. And on the other side of facts. You motherfuckers who we vote for, and who control our lives -- you motherfuckers got me today. You got me.

When I stood on the bus and I cried and I hugged my friend, and he came and he hit me and he hugged me [gestures to El-P] right there -- I said "These motherfuckers got me today."

When I stood in front of my wife and I hugged her, and I cried like a baby -- I said "These motherfuckers got me today."

But with that said: You motherfuckers will not own tomorrow. We will not live in your fear, we will not accept your cages, we not gonna keep playing that race card because we know. We know you don't value my skin, and we know you do value his [gestures to El-P] but you know what? We're friends and nothing is gonna devalue that.

Before I came out here, there was no peace in my heart, and I wanted to walk out to burn this motherfucker down. Burn this motherfucker down!

But I gotta tell you: I'm from Atlanta, Georgia, and something said, "Just look for something Martin King might have said." So I Googled Martin King, and Wikipedia popped up. And he was 39 years old when you motherfuckers killed him. He was the same age as I am, the same age as El. He was a young man when they killed him.

But I can promise you today: If I die when I walk off this stage tomorrow, I'm gonna let you know this. It is not about race. It is not about class. It is not about color. It is about what they killed him for.

It is about poverty. It is about greed. And it is about a war machine. It is about a war machine that uses you as a battery.

So I might go tomorrow. I might go the day after. But the one thing I want you to know: It is us against the motherfucking machine. Let's go!

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