Just in time for Mother’s Day, Killer Mike is paying homage to the “bad ass black girl” that was his mother in his two new videos for “Don’t Let the Devil” and “Motherless.” The visuals arrive Thursday as he teases his upcoming self-titled album, Michael, out June 16.
The video for “Don’t Let the Devil” sees the rapper looking through a box of photos in what seems to be his mom’s old home in Atlanta. While searching through the box, he finds a joint that, once he lights it up, transports him to a house party where he plays poker with El-P, who’s featured on the song.
“Flyin’ satellite height as I’m lookin’ at earth’s circus,” he raps. “Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t let the devil coerce you.”
At one point, Mike stares down a woman across the room and approaches her before he returns to reality. “In the spirit of OG Mama Niece’s Friday Night Get Downs… I miss my girl,” reads the onscreen text at the end.
“El’s heard me talk about these bohemian-artsy-disco infused parties my mom used to throw when I was kid. I’d hear everything there: that’s where I first heard Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow & Whodini,” Mike said in a statement. “When we were trying to figure out what the video should be, Jaime came back with this treatment written out and I cried at the end. What’s even crazier is he didn’t know what we were doing for ‘Motherless’ either but that’s the magic I guess.”
The film continues into a second part, “Motherless,” which sees Mike with an older man and a little girl in a field, all wearing white, before he starts rapping about losing his mom and his grandmother. “I be missin’ huggin’ you, I miss kissin’ you/I miss all the jewels and I miss all your wisdom too,” he raps on the track in between vocals from Eryn Allen Kane.
“Motherless” was the final song Mike made for the LP, since he hadn’t said the words “my momma dead” like he does in the song since “her transition,” he explained.
“When I tell the story of my mother the tales told include one when I walked in on her attempting to take her own life it gets to the heart of how deeply sensitive an artist and human she was,” Mike said. “She survived, was diagnosed bi-polar and depressed; she fought that until the day she died.”
“She lived a beautifully rich outlaw of a life and I am honored to show her as the total beautiful badass she was,” he added. “These aren’t meant to be sad videos or eulogies. This is a celebration of a bad ass black girl from the westside of Atlanta. She’s been affectionately called OG Mama Niecy by the many people she helped stay on their path.”
Michael, his upcoming album, is the first project from the rap star since dropping R.A.P. Music in 2012. The LP features songs like “Down By Law,” “RUN,” N Rich,” and “High and Holy.” He’s also heading on a summer tour, stopping in cities such as Portland, San Francisco, New York, and Nashville.
Michael Track List
- Down by Law
- Shed Tears
- N Rich
- Talkin Dat SHIT!
- Scientists & Engineers
- Two Days
- Spaceship Views
- Exit 9
- Something For Junkies
- Don’t Let the Devil
- High and Holy
Killer Mike tour dates:
July 10 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
July 11 – Charleston, SC @ Music Farm
July 13 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
July 14 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman
July 15 – Charlotte, NC @ Underground
July 17 – Norfolk, VA @ Norva
July 18 – Washington DC @ Lincoln Theater
July 20 – New York, NY @ Apollo
July 21 – Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall
July 23 – Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Festival
July 24 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
July 27 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox
July 28 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
July 29 – San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore
July 31 – Los Angeles, CA @ Ace Theater
Aug 1 – Phoenix, AZ @ Van Buren
Aug 3 – Houston, TX @ House Of Blues
Aug 4 – Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues
Aug 5 – New Orleans, LA @ Joy Theater