HipHopWired Featured Video
TV One Presents The 6th Annual URBAN ONE HONORS: Best In Black - Inside - Arrivals

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

Killer Mike won three Grammy Awards for his critically adored Michael album, which actually netted him a total of four of the prestigious trophies so far in his career. The Atlanta multihyphenate caught his first in 2002 (with a little less drama), thanks to a sharp verse on OutKast’s “The Whole World,” so he had a bit of a drought between accolades.

So the vindication of finally getting more proper recognition, including one for Best Rap Album, from his musical peers was that much sweeter. “It felt like acknowledgment of the work,” Mike tells Hip-Hop Wired of what he felt getting his awards.

“Hip-Hop…people say the culture, and they say…it’s usually a means to an end when most people say that, and they’re using the culture. But as a kid who grew up in the Deep South, in this little town masquerading as a city called Atlanta, all I ever wanted to be was an MC. And to achieve the dream of becoming an MC and then to, in the 50th year of Hip-Hop, make the best Rap Album…just a pure Hip-Hop album, it’s one of the greatest [feelings],” Mike says. “It is a vindication from the bullshit 3.5 The Source gave me. It’s a vindication from the bullshit 6.5 Pitchfork gave me. It’s a vindication from bullsh*t a** reviews online of people who are not even from my culture, not only on Hip-Hop but a from Black southern man’s culture. It’s vindication that allows me to roll by in my ‘67,  $100,000 Firebird and shoot a bird out the window and say f*ck you m*therf*ckers, I did it!”

But don’t mistake his tallying of receipts for sour grapes. He adds, “On a very practical level beyond vindication, what it is, is an affirmation that the dream of a 9-year-old child and the work that he put in over the course of the last about to be 40 years, was an affirmation that the imagination of a child, encouraged and untethered, anything is possible. And everything is possible.”

While the Grammy nods are great, Killer Mike also performed at Urban One Honors a few weeks prior (it taped Jan. 20 at The Roxy in Atlanta), and getting recognition from a Black-owned entity was just as poignant. When asked to speak on it, Killer Mike began by giving props to Urban One’s founder, Cathy Hughes. “First of all I give a lot of praise to Cathy Hughes for having vision to create Radio One and be the tip of the spear in what’s become a media megaplex with the television, radio and beyond,” said Mike. “I was honored to be asked by CeeLo to be a part of it, Cory Mo helped put it together and shouts out to Urban One.”

2024 Urban One Honors: Best In Black - Arrivals

Source: Prince Williams / Getty

Killer Mike went on to add that TV One also has a special place in his household.

“If you want to see The Cosby Show, if you want if you want to see Black people doing well and thriving, you want to see A Different World, that’s the place you go as a family,” explained Mike. “The same way I would watch Norman Lear stuff with my grandparents—Good Times, The Jeffersons, Sanford & Son—I been blessed through Urban One to be able to have and recreate similar things with my family here at the house. We’re not watching a lot of aspirational things that aren’t us, we get to watch stuff that is us. And that’s important. It was important for me to be recognized by them, and I’m deeply honored.”

Be sure to watch Urban One Honors: Best in Black when it premieres Sunday, Feb. 25 at 8/7C on TV One.