Killer Mike, the rapper whose outspoken and eloquent thoughts on race relations have made him a cable news favorite on top of his surging music career, delivered a wide-ranging lecture to students at MIT on Friday and wasted no time tossing off thoughts that were profound even without the help of a beat.
Speaking about the music business, Mike said the relationship between major labels and their artists was like "sharecropping" and said more labels needed to be minority-owned. "We need more Rocafellas, we need more Bad Boys," he told the students, according to a Billboard report.
He continued: "If you want to pull out of that construct, you have to start your own farm. If you're an abolitionist, you're not going to get money from the federal government, so you have to get it on your own."
Mike also addressed an anonymous student blogger who had written a post in protest of Mike's appearance as part of the university's Hip Hop Speaker Series. The rapper made an obscene gesture and said, "No one gives a ... about your blog... I'm here because I'm qualified to be here."
He pulled no punches with other, less eloquent rappers either, telling the crowd, "Dumb rappers should just shut the ... up and make [the] dumb music that I hear on the radio in the middle of the day."
Mike -- who in recent months has appeared several times on CNN and Fox News to discuss racial unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and whose recent performances at Coachella alongside longtime collaborator El-P as Run the Jewels garnered high praise from The Times' Lorraine Ali -- will be attending Saturday night's White House Correspondents Assn. Dinner, with cast members of "Game of Thrones," "The Walking Dead," former Doctor Who David Tennant, Jane Fonda and "Nightly Show" host Larry Wilmore, among others.