The Outkast star released an album of flute music last year, explaining that it felt “inauthentic” for him to rap because “I’m 48 years old and not to say that age is a thing that dictates what you rap about, but in a way it does.”
Killer Mike won the awards for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for ‘Scientists & Engineers’ – his song featuring André 3000, Future and Eryn Allen Kane – plus Best Rap Album for ‘Michael’. While collecting the award for Best Rap Song, he told the audience: “For all the people out there that think you get too old to rap – bullshit. I don’t care if you’re 78 rapping about how many gals you got in the nursing home.”
He added: “Make sure we keep hip-hop alive.”
Killer Mike CREDIT: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
The speech followed him urging the crowd to use their creativity to create a better world while collecting the award for Best Rap Performance. “I wanna thank everyone who dares to believe that art can change the world,” he said. “Thank Dré, thank Future, thank Eryn, thank all the producers on here, but everyone in this room, it is our responsibility to keep using our imagination to shape and form the world.
When Killer Mike was announced as the winner of Best Rap Album – his third victory of the night – he shouted: “You cannot tell me that you get too old! You can’t tell me it’s too late! It’s a sweep!”
Speaking to NME last year, Mike discussed his desire to win a Grammy for ‘Michael’. “I want to march into the Grammys and march out with a trophy or two,” he said. “We’ll see how that goes.
“I’m not gonna lie and act like I don’t want it, or I’m above it and just do it for the art. I would like for ‘Michael’ to be recognised. Van Gogh was so amazing, but he died unrecognised. I don’t want to die unrecognised… I heard Muhammad Ali talk about being humble. He said, ‘I’ve tried to be humble. Y’all didn’t listen to me when I drove a little car, stayed in a little house. When I started talking braggadociously and wearing diamonds and things, that’s when people listened!’”
He added: “I’ll never forget what Lauryn [Hill] made Black girls and girls across the board feel with ‘The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’. And seeing her with that armful of Grammys – whether she cares about them anymore or not – meant everything to us as fans because a true MC got validated. I didn’t give a fuck if she was a man or a woman. I was just like: ‘That’s us!’ The people that have supported me for 20 years and Run The Jewels in the last 10 years… I would like to give them that feeling.”
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