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Killer Mike performs at the House of Blues Las Vegas inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on February 9, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Source: Ethan Miller / Getty

Just a few weeks ago, Michael Render aka Killer Mike was trending on social media because his latest album Michael earned him three Grammys including Best Rap Album. Sure, he was also trending because he got arrested at the venue and charged with misdemeanor battery, but for the Killer Mike fans and Hip-Hop connoisseurs, it was certainly a celebratory moment for the culture.

Well, this week, Mike is back to trending on the socials for the usual reason—his social and political hot takes that typically turn out to be lukewarm at best once they’re put under a little scrutiny.

Recently, the “Down By Law” rapper sat down with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the democratic politician who peddled conspiracy theories about COVID-19 being a lab-created “bioweapon” that targets Africans and is designed to spare Jewish people. (Yeah, I can see RFK and Mike having a rapport.) A video that has been making the rounds on social media shows Mike laying out a plan for Black people, particularly Black men who have gotten Black women pregnant out of wedlock, that is, well, interesting.

The video clip, which was taken from Mike’s barbershop in Atlanta, begins with the “Rick Flair” artist explaining what he appears to believe is a feasible alternative to men paying child support.

“This is the two-year plan: first two years are debt-free. You don’t have to pay anything back so she doesn’t have to drag him into court and the court can say you owe us money for investing in your child in food programs and head start programs because in those two years, he has the option to then go to a trade school,” Mike told RFK.

“In my community, the girls are going to college and graduating. They have no men to marry because the boys are not going to college in the same way,” he continued.

Mike also proposed that young Black men be required to complete two years of trade school if they get a woman pregnant as well as providing financial incentives for the father and mother to get married, arguing it would “strengthen the Black community.”

OK, look—it’s easy to see why Mike and those who advocate for him might think these are good ideas. Black people have spent a lot of time trying to solve the ills of the Black community, virtually all of which are rooted in poverty, and Mike has gotten specific enough here regarding his “solutions” that other Black people might instinctively nod along in agreement.

Mike’s two-year “debt-free” solution to child support might seem innovative as long as you conveniently forget that, in those first two years, children still need to eat and be clothed, along with the myriad other regular expenses that come with day-to-day child-rearing, none of which would be alleviated by the government exempting them from debt. (Also, in what world is any part of the government going to greenlight complete freedom from personal debt for two years for every young couple that has a child out of wedlock?)

Incentivizing young Black people with children out of wedlock might seem like the right thing to do, especially to strict adherents to traditional values, as long as you don’t think about the fact that some couples don’t want to and/or shouldn’t be married, and forcing those marriages could be unhealthy and counterproductive. Advocating for Black children to grow up with two active parents in their lives is one thing, but I don’t see how forcing nuclear Black families just for the optics serves to “strengthen the Black community.”

Finally, it goes without saying that you can’t force anyone to go to a trade school. Even if we give Mike the benefit of the doubt and assume he misspoke when he said that, under his plan, Black men who have gotten women pregnant will be told, “You must now go through two years of trade school,” it still doesn’t seem like he has any confidence that these young Black men can shape their own professional destinies, which may or may not include becoming locksmiths, mechanics or carpenters as Mike suggested.

In fact, Mike’s implication that young Black fathers should stick to trade school in order to match Black women who are going to college only caused folks on social media to resurface video of the Atlanta rapper telling a Black boy that he’s “not going to be able to be president,” and that owes it to his parents “not to dream big,” but “to dream practical and start making money as soon as you can,” during an episode of his Netflix docuseries Trigger Warning.

In general, Black people’s response to Mike’s “plan” on social media was less than flattering to the Grammy award-winner.

Look, when it comes to Black people, I do personally believe Killer Mike’s heart is in the right place, he just often seems more focused on having controversial ideas than he is on thinking them through before presenting them to the public. And it would just be really nice if he would stop trending on the interwebs for that specific reason.


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Unpacking Killer Mike’s Latest Plan To ‘Strengthen The Black Community’  was originally published on