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Killer Mike has always been a passionate rapper, but with his sixth studio album, R.A.P. Music, he’s gone next-level. “I put everything into this record. I said I was going to do everything I wanna do and say everything I wanna say,” said Mike, as we chatted at a small Italian restaurant on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

The album, produced entirely by noise-rap stalwart El-P, goes harder than hard with chest-caving 808s and fiery political rhetoric. As we say in the lead review of our May/June “Loud Issue”: “A child of the ’80s, and a student of the Internet, Killer Mike is as exciting and wildly unclassifiable as hip-hop gets: New York noise and country shit, nods to when rap was punk and crunk was pop, Ice Cube before he needed hooks, David Banner before he needed to whisper, and Willie D before he needed anybody.”

Stream R.A.P. Music at

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