Killer Mike — the politically outspoken Run the Jewels rapper and still-devoted Bernie Sanders supporter — is about to take on a new role: star of Netflix’s Trigger Warning, a docuseries in which he addresses social issues through alternately amusing and enlightening stunts (debuting Jan. 18). “Either you do your best to make this system more perfect, or you start blowing it up,” says the Atlanta MC. Here’s his post-midterms plan for how you too can help start a fire.
SUPPORT BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES
“I’m pretty encouraged because Atlanta has the opportunity to stay an African-American economic and political stronghold. But nationally, blacks are not gaining ground. Prior to desegregation [in the 1950s and ’60s], my community was affluent and full of hope. [With desegregation], you gained the ability to shop at the mall, or a corporate or white-owned place, but something was also lost. My goal is to get allies of every race, creed and color into the black economic system, but it must start with us. We must keep a dollar in our community longer than six hours.”
RALLY FOR MARIJUANA LAW REFORM
“A lot of brothers in my state are ready for full legalization because they want to be part of the economic process. And as an African-American man in Atlanta, if you get a felony marijuana conviction right out of high school, it ruins your life. That’s why after 2016, I stayed home and organized locally to get some legislative changes in city council — the pulling back of the drug war laws.”
LOOK FOR LOCAL CHANGEMAKERS
“Find out who’s already organizing locally and ask them what you can do to help — otherwise you’re just supporting another corporation. I don’t know what to do actionably in Chicago or Flint, Mich., but I can tell you who does know.”
GO WITH YOUR GUT
“I got to be able to sleep with me at night. I have gotten behind people that I didn’t fully support before — I supported Stacey Abrams [who ran for governor of Georgia], and I don’t agree with her on guns at all. With [Hillary] Clinton, I absolutely could not. I was alive and a teenager when the “superpredator” line [the term Clinton used in 1996 to describe troubled black youth] came across. I don’t wish no bad, but you’ve done bad to my community.
“So much of Sanders’ policy is popping up in other candidates’ agendas, and that excites me. We’re closer to Medicare for all than we know, closer to national decriminalization of marijuana, closer to making leaping progress in this country… if we communicate on both sides of the aisle in our living room. Don’t just wait for politicians to do it.”