“you motherf*ckers got me today”
Last night in St. Louis, Run the Jewels took the stage shortly after news broke that police officer Darren Wilson would not be seeing a trial for shooting teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Killer Mike has voiced his despair, anger and grief about the loss of Brown's life and the charged situation unfolding in Ferguson before, and this came to a head in the impassioned speech he delivered during his set.
Instead of barreling onstage for a typical Run the Jewels performance, Killer Mike and El-P solemnly strode on and let the crowd know that, no, a normal set was not what they had in store for the evening. Read Killer Mike's thoughts below and watch the footage from their performance above, where the Atlantan rapper invokes the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and voices his fear for his young sons.
From Killer Mike in St. Louis:
"I would like to say rest in peace to Michael Brown, because that is a young man who will never get to see the next phase of his life. I would like to give all thoughts and prayers to the people who are out there peacefully protesting. And I also give thoughts and prayers for the people who cannot hold that anger in because riots are only the language of the unheard. We usually come on to Queen's '[We Are The] Champions,' but I just gotta tell you today that, man, no matter how much we do it, no matter how much we get sh*t together, sh*t comes along that kicks you on your ass, and you don't feel like a champion.
So tonight, I got kicked on my ass when I listened to that prosecutor. Imma tell you: You motherf*ckers got me today. I knew it was coming. I knew when f*cking Eric Holder decided to resign, I knew it wasn't going to be good. But I gotta tell 'em: You motherf*ckers got me today.
You kicked me on my ass today, because I have a 20-year-old son, and I have a 12-year-old son, and I'm so afraid for them. You motherf*ckers on the other side—CNN, Fox, you motherf*ckers who we vote for, who control our lives—you motherf*ckers got me today.
When I stood in the bus, and I cried, and I hugged my friend, and he hugged me, right there, I said, 'These motherf*ckers got me today.' When I stood in front of my wife, and I hugged her, and I cried like a baby, I said, 'These motherf*ckers got me today.'
But we're gonna say: 'You motherf*ckers will not own tomorrow. We will not live in your fear. We will not accept your cages. We will not keep playing that race card.' Because we know you do not value my skin, and we know you do value [El-P's], but you know what? We're friends and nothing is going to devalue that.
"Before I came out here, there was no peace in my heart, and I wanted to walk out to burn this motherf*cker down. Burn this motherf*cker down. But I gotta tell you: I'm from Atlanta, Georgia, and something said, 'Just look for something Martin King mighta seen.' So I Googled Martin King, and Wikipedia popped up, and he was 39-years-old when you motherf*ckers killed him. He was the same age as I am; The same age as El.
He was a young man when they killed him, but I can promise you today: If I die when I walk off this stage tomorrow, Imma let you know this. It is not about race. It is not about class. It is not about color. It is about what they killed him for. It is about poverty. It is about greed. It is about a war machine. It is about a war machine....So I might go tomorrow, I might go the day after, but the one thing I want you to know is it is us against the motherf*cking machine. Let's go."