Killer Mike has eulogized his late mother with two new music videos: “Don’t Let The Devil” and “Motherless” — watch them both below.
Taken from his upcoming album Michael, which is set to be released on June 16, the video for “Don’t Let The Devil,” which dropped on Wednesday (May 10), sees the Atlanta MC rummaging through a box of old photos, in what appears to be his late mother’s old home.
In the box, Killer Mike finds what appears to be a joint of marijuana — and after a bit of the old puff-puff-pass, is transported to a house party with fellow Run The Jewels MC El-P, who’s also got a feature spot on the song.
“Flyin’ satellite height as I’m lookin’ at Earth’s circus,” he spits. “Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t let the devil coerce you.”
Towards the end of the video, he approaches what appears to be his mother’s proxy, but doesn’t quite get to her before he’s transported back to reality.
Meanwhile, “Motherless” — which features Eryn Allen Kane, and also dropped on Wednesday (May 10) — is a much more straight-ahead eulogy to both his mother and his grandmother, and Killer Mike is wistful as he raps, “I be missin’ huggin’ you, I miss kissin’ you/ I miss all the jewels and I miss all your wisdom too.”
“When I first played Dion (No I.D.) the album he said two things—one of which was that I was essentially holding something back and that was the song ‘Motherless,’” Mike said in a statement, according to Pitchfork. “It was the last song made for the album because I hadn’t uttered these words [‘my momma dead’] out loud since her transitioning.”
He continued: “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.
“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.”
But Killer Mike didn’t just share two brand-new videos. In an Instagram post dated Monday (May 11), he also gave his fans a sneak preview of the full tracklist on the upcoming album.
“Listen, the cat is out of the bag. The featured artists on this project are unparalleled,” he wrote in the caption. “I’ve assembled a cast of some of the best artists from Atlanta & beyond. Our collective perspectives will allow you to understand the glorious story and beautiful nuances of what it’s like to be a Black boy growing up in the deeply religious South, specifically The Westside of Atlanta.”
He continued: “This is an audio movie, an August Wilson Play like adventure. Press play, close your eyes, and experience art on June 16.”
The heavily biographical project is set to feature André 3000,Future, Lil Wayne, and Young Thug, among others, and will serve as Mike’s first solo effort in over a decade following 2012’s R.A.P. Music.
Meanwhile, Killer Mike has announced plans for his High & Holy Tour, for which he’ll be bringing along a full gospel choir, The Midnight Revival, to play all of the fan-favorite songs from his repertoire.
The High & Holy Tour will come just before the Run The Jewels mini-tour, which kicks off on September 2023 and will celebrate the pair’s 10th anniversary.
In March, the rap duo announced they’d be celebrating a decade together with four different concerts in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. According to a press release, the duo will be “performing a different set each night spanning the band’s full discography, bolstered by a plethora of special guests and surprises along the way.”