From Killer Mike to Mike Bigga


Killer Mike


When I say there must be two sides, Atlanta has a rich history – don’t reduce my city to black Hollywood.  Hollywood is a place where people who weren’t happy go to be people they never were.  Hollywood is a place where people come who don’t want to be who they really are, so they act, so they dance, so they sing.  And there’s nothing wrong with that – that’s a grand dream – but that’s not Atlanta; Atlanta is a place of culture, of substance, of good, and of hood, and I love my city for that.  It’s a diverse black city economically, culturally, and I refuse to let my city be reduced to a place where you come piss, party, and bullsh*t.Killer Mike aka Mike Bigga, explaining his reasoning to record “Must Be 2 Sides,” with rapper Shawty-Lo

On September 1, 2009, Underground Atlanta was released to critical acclaim. With guest appearances from T.I., Rich Kidz, Gucci Mane, and Soulja Boy to name a few, Killer Mike – who recently changed his name to Mike Bigga (see BIO below) arguably has dropped his best album yet.

But, on April 20, 1975, a star was born.

Michael Render is one of the most well-rounded artists in hip hop. But you might not know who he is.

Each day, new artists with new gimmicks hit the scene and grab the attention of the public eye for their “new” take on old issues – b*tches, h*s, money, cars, clothes and the occasional “Jesus” thrown in their for purification purposes (I guess).

Mike Bigga is not a rapper based upon gimmicks.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having an angle or a lane – as it sometimes makes it easier for the public to receive you. Sometimes, you have to be able to be classified.

Mike Bigga doesn’t care about classification.

He is willing to clarify some issues though. “I am not signed to Grand Hustle. Grind Time has a partnership with Grand Hustle.”

Hearing him speak, one can discern a certain yearning. The way a highly-successful businessman (or woman) is not recognized while on campus at the biggest business college in the country. The businessman is not hoping for pointless attention. Mike just wants to be appreciated for what he has done and utilized in a way that respects his efforts and allows his talents to be recognized for what they are. (continued below)



Killer Mike


“So you want to get into the game?  Quit while you’re ahead and go to college!  That’s the advice I’d give to anybody starting out right now.” Mike Bigga aka Killer Mike’s “Guide to the Grind”

“I am not new to this game,” he reiterates. It’s clear that Mike, while not a crybaby by any means, would like to be respected for who he is and what he has brought to Atlanta’s music scene and hip-hop in general.

While T.I. is unquestionably the most popular artist on Grand Hustle, it’s notable that Mike Bigga’s roots and history in Atlanta are comparably as deep. Notice, I didn’t say T.I. is the most successful, because that depends upon your definition of success. Clearly, Killer Mike understands his achievements’ from the proper perspective. He waxes poetic, “I tend to look at what I DO have as opposed to what I don’t. For example, I don’t have a mansion, but I have a house that is PAID FOR.”

Mike is such a regular guy that it can be hard to take him seriously as an artist. But that is society’s fault more than his. We arguably place too a high premium on celebrity. To the point it’s equated with success. We expect our celebrities to be larger than life. They often embody an image rather than a person. Maybe that’s why we often have to remind each other that celebrities that have hit the stratosphere are “still human.” To be too relate-able is usually not a good thing.

Maybe when society wisens up, and we reject the “V.I.P” concept as a whole and understand that we all have special gifts and talents to be shared and celebrated here on earth, Mike Bigga will be appreciated for the star that he is. Then we too can appreciate our own shine.

For more on Mike Bigga, follow him at or


Killer Mike – Underground Atlanta


(credit Wikipedia (, edited by BE Magazine)

Killer Mike

Mike Bigga a.k.a Killer Mike is a American rapper, signed to Grind Time Official through Grand Hustle/Atlantic Records Distribution. He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta. He made his debut appearance on “Snappin’ and Trappin'” on OutKast‘s 2000 LP Stankonia, but his breakout appearance was his verse on the Grammy-winning song, “The Whole World,” the single from OutKast’s greatest hits album Big Boi and Dre Present…OutKast. He was featured in the movies 20 Funerals, Idlewild, and ATL.

Killer Mike released his debut album, Monster, in 2003. The album’s lead single was “Akshon (Yeah!)”, it featured Out
Kast on guest vocals, and was included on the soundtrack to the 2004 version of EA Sports popular video game Madden NFL. He even made a Madden ’04 remix of “Akshon (Yeah!)” for the game. Following the release of his own material, he appeared on “Flip Flop Rock” and “Bust” on the Speakerboxx half of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. He also appeared on “Southern Takeover” with Pastor Troy on Chamillionaire‘s CD The Sound of Revenge. His second album “Ghetto Extraordinary” has had its release date pushed back several times due to disputes involving Big Boi and Sony Records.

Killer Mike has also performed as a voice actor. He played a rapper/actor, turned President of the United States, named Taqu’il in the Adult Swim cartoon Frisky Dingo. According to an article published in the June 2007 issue of XXL, Killer Mike addressed why he left the Purple Ribbon roster. He stated that he felt as if Purple Ribbon was the equivalent to the “Clippers,” while he wanted to join the “Lakers.” He later apologized for his role in the fallout with Big Boi. He had ended his 3 year beef with Big Boi in 2008, after a tornado hit the city of Atlanta.

Sometimes if you and another person, both have a big dream, if y’all standin’ in the same room, [there’s] only room for one dream.  And that’s kinda what happened with me and Big Boi.  Purple Ribbon was his dream, and he wanted to see his dream run his way, and I had respectfully bow out of the situation, so that he could bring his dream fully to fruition, and I could step away and make Grind Time all I wanted it to be.  The more I tried to make Grind Time something under Purple Ribbon, the more uncomfortable I think it made Big Boi, so I think it was best that we [became] friendly competitors, rather than unfriendly label mates or boss and employee… I’m embarrassed for my part, and I don’t think I’ll ever engage in that type of public display of bullsh*t again.  It used to be hard for me to say that, because of my foolish male pride, but it’s become easier; the more I say it, the easier it becomes.  Because I think as a man, a lot of times, we make f*ck-ups, and we could be better people if we were just willing to say, “Well, damn, I f*cked up.  I won’t do that again. – Killer Mike, interview at

On April 21, 2008, Killer Mike performed at the 2008 National Forensics Association National Tournament at Tennessee State University.

Days after T.I. addressed the rumor and confirmed that he and Killer Mike had been in talks about bringing Mike to his Grand Hustle imprint on Atlantic, Killer Mike confirmed to that he will be signing. On December 9th Mike said he hoped to have the deal ironed out before the end of January 2009 to get to work on 16 in the Kitchen, since re-titled Underground Atlanta. In September 2009, he changed his name to Mike Bigga explaining, “You can’t get corporate sponsorship with [the name ‘Killer Mike’].”

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