Pl3dge, Killer Mike, 2011
You know you've found a good album when you start writing about it before you finish listening to it completely. If you don't know who Killer Mike is, he's a mc from Atlanta, GA. I first heard of him on a collaboration/featured song with Outkast called The Whole World. It's a circus themed anthem that everyone will remember from 2002. The track was from Big Boi and Dre Present......Oukast. Another noteworthy track Killer Mike was on was Flip Flop Rock on Big Boi's half of Speakerboxx/The Love Below. The song features Killer Mike and Jay Z and it is a past example that shows how much talent the artist has. Killer Mike released two previous albums of his I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind (1 and 2) series. Pl3dge is his latest installment.
[audio:http://ra-nyc.com/boywithstick/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/114-big_boi-flip_flop_rock_feat_killer_mike_and_jayz-rns.mp3|titles=Flip Flop Rock_Speakerboxx_(featuring Jay Z and Killer Mike)]
It just so happened that I checked hiphopdx.com's release dates page and saw that Killer Mike released his new project. A couple hours later, I saw Killer Mike post something about his album (on Twitter) and the universe made it clear that I'm supposed to get Pl3dge. So, I'm passing it on.
Pl3dge stays true to the ATL sound that has become so popular, but unlike the mainstream club anthems from ATL, Killer Mike holds it down with his lyrics over the trunk rattling beats (as you would expect from a Dungeon Family Member). The content of his lyrics range from women, ignorance, staying true to himself as an artist, intelligence, God, health are, politics and the list goes on. His versatility shows maturity and intelligence and those traits unfortunately don't always lead to commercial success. But, it's Killer Mike's time because he has flown under the radar for too long. At the same time, he is known across the country for his lyrical skill, funny punch lines and creative perspective. He's collaborated with a long list of hip hop pros that exhibit the respect he gets within the music industry that include Cunninlynguists, Bun B, Big Boi/Outkast, Bubba Sparxxx, M.O.P., Youngbloodz, Talib Kweli, 8 Ball and MJG, Jay-Z, Kool G Rap and DJ Clue (amongst others). Most people like T.I. and he's featured on his brethren's album twice (remixed). I'm not going to lie about being a fan of Gucci Mane, but a lot of people like him. So, whether you do or don't like Gucci Mane, it shouldn't sway you away from picking up Pl3dge. Killer Mike is the headliner and he doesn't disappoint. Killer Mike reminds me of Atlanta's version of Phat Kat (Detroit). They're both talented, full of potential, are under appreciated and are both big guys.
In all honesty, the majority of my music isn't from the south, but I recommend the Pl3dge to anyone likes hip hop. Killer Mike kills it again and he brought my attention back to Atlanta with an intelligent, well produced, raw album that validates him as an mc. So go pick up or download your copy today.