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In the nearly 7-minute interview, Mike sat down with NRATV’s Colion Noir to discuss how gun control intersects with race and individual rights for him personally. What he hadn’t anticipated, he says, was the organization holding onto the clip and releasing it the same day as the March For Our Lives rally. Fans were stunned at the surprising partnership and took to Twitter to voice their disappointment in the rapper. Mike spent hours replying in kind, trying to hash out the finer points of his argument to his young, predominantly liberal fans.
“I think CNN & Fox are view point propaganda machines,” he tweeted. “I have appeared on both. My concerns are with the Blacks in America living under domestic terror that no one seems to wanna address.”
After spending much of the weekend fielding comments on Twitter, the rapper released two video messages Sunday night hoping to squash some of the backlash.
“That interview was used a week later by NRATV to disparage a very noble campaign that I actually support,” the Run the Jewels rapper said. He apologized in particular to the young people who organized the rally. “I’m sorry that an interview I did about a minority—Black people in this country—and gun rights was used as a weapon against you guys. That was unfair to you and it was wrong, and it disparaged some very noble work you’re doing.”
He ended by encouraging America’s teens to keep organizing for causes they believe in. “Plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize,” he said.
Here are both parts of his apology in full:
I hope this clears some stuff up. Love and Respect to all. Part 1 pic.twitter.com/pq977HEG7A— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) March 25, 2018
Killer Mike’s bandmate El-P released a lengthy statement late Sunday in support of his partner. El-P says that he and Mike are “our own men and we speak for ourselves individually,” and commends the “heroes” marching for gun control worldwide, encouraging people to listen to their calls for common sense gun reform. In a second note, he directly addresses the Killer Mike interview. He praises Mike’s character, saying that while the pair’s “many differences” are “vast and often hotly debated” he knows “a good person” when he sees one. El-P continues to say, “i can not and will not ever turn my back on this man. he wouldn’t turn his on me. or you.”
2 things i need to say. pic.twitter.com/q8GrxQeWPs— el-p (@therealelp) March 26, 2018
Mike quickly replied to his bandmate, saying he was “humbled” to be El-P’s “friend, brother, and group member” and that he was “grateful to have an ally always.”
I am so humbled to be your friend, brother & group member. I am so grateful to have an ally always. I apologize for my bull in a china store like tendencies! I drive u nuts but i promise u I love ya brother & will always do what’s right. Thank u for your underserved suffering https://t.co/VwOyCcVkls— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) March 26, 2018
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.