Features | Awards

The Alka-Seltzer Award for Most Uplifting Hangover Anthem

By Colin McGowan | 18 December 2008

Killer Mike
I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind II
(Grind Time Official/SMC Recordings; 2008)

The loquacious, bombastic Killer Mike proclaims this be a “soundtrack to your success,” and, I lament, I’ve perverted the uplifting nature of his sentiments, using this album as theme music to group conquests of Mega Man 9 and as a barometer of whether or not I’m too hungover to attend my morning classes. That’s high praise, though, in my pathetic little sphere of existence; a Saturday afternoon spent beating two Mega Man levels is fucking accomplishing things in my stupid universe. That game is really hard. 

So is everything on this album, impenetrably so. Fierce, unabashed intelligence is Killer Mike’s game, and, while I would willingly participate, I don’t think I have a choice anyway. Killa Kill doesn’t make suggestions, he makes statements: of purpose, of fury, of desperation, all encased in the unassailability of his supremely assertive voice. Each syllable is a two-by-four cracked over the spine of the status quo, discontentment splintering into shrapnel. “God In The Building” is undeniable because he renders it so, clutching the audience’s attention in his leviathan’s p(s)alm, draped in self-righteousness like a Kevlar shroud: only thing real in a room fulla decoys. 

For all this empowerment connoted in tone, there is still a glance like “I don’t need swagger / I’m just arrogant” that snaps double-taking necks on some Scooby Doo “ruh?” shit. No worries; just trust Mike is stomping strategically, crafting war plans both egregiously brutal and cunning. And, lest we forget the motivation behind all this, he provides us a painfully vivid glimpse into the disenfranchisement at the heart of all this rebellion: “How could you not want to see me prevail? / How could you want to see me locked in jail?” 

I want to see him succeed because he’s the fucking man. Hallelujah.