Killer Mike on Baltimore unrest: ‘Riots are the language of the unheard’

Run The Jewels rapper addresses the recent events in a new opinion piece

Run The Jewels rapper Killer Mike has written an opinion piece on the recent civil unrest in the US city of Baltimore.

The hip-hop star, who recently attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner during April, penned the article for Billboard, in which he addresses the Baltimore riots and the media’s “sensationalist” treatment of the events.

“For the people of Baltimore — I don’t criticize rioting because I understand it,” he writes. “But after the fires die down: organize, strategize and mobilize. Like Ferguson, you have an opportunity to start anew. I don’t have a solution because whoever’s there will have to come up with it. But we need community relations: riots are the language of the unheard.”

Confrontations in the Baltimore began following the funeral of African-American man, Freddie Gray, on Monday (April 27). Gray, 25, was fatally injured whilst in police custody on April 19 after a week-long coma. Members of the police department have been charged over the killing.

Earlier this week, a host of other musicians, including Gerard Way and Rihanna, reacted to the protests in Baltimore, offering support to local residents. Beyonce urged people to donate to the NAACP, saying “People are hurting”.

Killer Mike attended this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner last week (April 25). The annual event saw key journalists and notable figures coming together to discuss key issues. Killer Mike was covering the event on behalf of Huffington Post.

The rapper also recent gave a talk at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on April 24. During his speech, Killer Mike called for more minority-owned record labels in the music industry. “We have been used and abused and we know that.” said Mike, equating the major label system to “sharecropping.” He also called for more minority-owned labels, saying: “We need more Rocafellas, we need more Bad Boys.”

Run The Jewels were recently announced as among the acts set to perform at Field Day and this year’s Reading & Leeds Festival. They also released a new song for Record Store Day 2015 called ‘Bust No Moves’. The track was made available on a limited-edition seven-inch and features Arkansas rapper SL Jones.

The pair also appear to be teaming up with Massive Attack, with images recently appearing on Twitter alongside a post from Killer Mike which read: “in the studio with massive attack right now. so… no big deal or anything. not bragging a lot. just talking here”.