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June 16th, 2023 (Los Angeles, CA) – This week on Ye Gods!, Killer Mike: rapper, activist, and host of the PBS talk show Love & Respect with Killer Mike as well as half of the rap duo Run The Jewels. He joins Scott to talk about the influence of his grandmother on his faith, how blackness informed his experience of church and why the teachings of Jesus Christ made him a radical in his time and today. Mike’s latest album “Michael” drops June 16th. [Jesus’ radicalism]“Jesus is one of the most radical and revolutionary figures in any religion because of his adherence not to law, not to religious indoctrination or ceremony, but in his absolutely adherence to love for his fellow human being. I get chills thinking about it because it is such a monumental task to even attempt to love human beings in that way.”[Going to Church as a child]“My grandmother was from Tuskegee, Alabama. And my grandmother was just, she loved the Lord and my grandfather was very distant with religion, but was a believer in God. So my grandmother, who we went to church with, and we belonged to a Baptist church.She’d take us to these small little storefront or little house almost like, Pentecostal churches. And the music was just, man, the music was just amazing and that’s what I loved about it. And I felt myself more in community with those churches. This is at the time the crack epidemic is starting. Some of those churches were on the same streets you would see kind of deteriorate into misery and hopelessness, due to addiction unfortunately. But those churches were the hope in those communities and you formed a community, you know, around them and the music was just so damn good.”[Teachings of Jesus]“The ability to love those who you know don’t love you, the ability to work with those who will formally persecute you and Saul becomes Paul. The ability to sit next to those who know you will betray you and have the power to end that and the ability to sit down and reckon with your direct opposer. What really hooked me was when he [cleansed] the temple because it was in, in direct opposition to government and to religion. You know, the government of religion, the governance of man, and the church becoming a marketplace. That’s what reminded me of Martin and Malcolm and that’s what reminded me of the work that my grandmother and my grandfather did. They weren’t flamboyant in their charity, it was just their duty to make sure that if we ate fish, our neighbors had fish to eat as well.”[After death]“I don’t know what happens [after death] but I know I have an opportunity while I’m here to transfer the energy of good and service and servitude to my fellow human beings that I got from my grandparents. I have an opportunity to teach it to my children and others before I  get outta here, so the energy never dies.”[Hymn that resonates most]“Swing Low Sweet Cherry, it was my grandmother’s favorite [hymn]. It is an expectation that God is going to take care of me, that there’s a reward in death. Not the reward of I get a big house on the other side but the reward that I will be comforted for the work I’ve done and I get to be with my God again. That’s pretty dope.”[Humans]“We are simply beings that are put here by a grand creator. As much as we marvel at song and as much as we marvel at dance and as much as we marvel at sculpture and art, the most beautiful piece of art ever created is the one we see when we look at one another. Because God has put us here, that simple. I hope that people who live here are more willing to see God in each other so that we can’t mistreat one another.”[Personal beliefs]“If I could figure out that love, that sacrifice. If we search more for that and less for things that make us feel as though we’re right, you know, or our dogma’s right. I think we’ll be on the path. I don’t practice Abrahamic religion, but I’ve learned from them all. I study ’em all, and I believe that the origin of them is, the god of Abraham or so the monotheistic ideal of God, I believe it’s real. I believe God is real, but I don’t always believe it’s anything after this.”About Scott CarterScott Carter has been nominated for dozens of Primetime Emmys as Executive Producer / Writer of the first 1,100 episodes of POLITICALLY INCORRECT (Comedy Central, ABC) and the first 16 seasons of REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER (HBO).Carter is the Co-Creator / Executive Producer of “Love & Respect With Killer Mike ” on PBS. He’s been nominated for more than a dozen Primetime Emmys and won both the Producers Guild Of America and Writers Guild Of America awards. He was Executive Producer/Writer for the first 550 episodes of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and EP/Writer for the first 1,100 episodes of “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher” on ABC and, before that, on Comedy Central. At “P.I.,” he also won three consecutive CableAce Awards for Best Talk Series. Carter’s full-length play, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THOMAS JEFFERSON, CHARLES DICKENS AND COUNT LEO TOLSTOY: DISCORD has been performed in 27 cities in 4 countries and was published by Dramatists Play Service. The first season features the above-mentioned guest plus Patricia Heaton, Killer Mike, Ken Burns, Tim Gunn, Anna Deavere Smith, Paul F. Tompkins, Ana Marie Cox, Robert Costa, Rabbi Steve Leder and more to be announced. It’s a show for the purpose-driven or just the driven-driven, for believers and skeptics, dreamers and doubters, the dogmatic and pragmatic, the historical or hysterical.About Killer MikeMichael Render, aka Killer Mike, is a Grammy-award-winning rapper, businessman and activist. He is one half of the hip hop duo, Run the Jewels, host of the PBS talk show “Love & Respect with Killer Mike,” and co-owner along with Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris of famed Atlanta restaurant, Bankhead Seafood.  A native of Atlanta, Render has released five full-length albums as a solo artist and four albums for Run the Jewels. His latest solo album “Michael” releases on June 16, 2023. He began organizing at the age of 15 and made a name for himself as an activist well before he recorded a single song. In addition to advocating for the decriminalization of marijuana, and restorative justice programs for young people, Render has worked locally with the anti-violence organization, Black Teens for Advancement and the Atlanta/Fulton Commission on Children and Youth through its Kids 4 a Change program. Through his SWAG Shop barbershops, which he co-owns with his wife, he’s held back-to-school events offering free haircuts, braids, and school supplies for Atlanta children. He was named to NME’s “The Ten People Who Defined 2020” list for his powerful lyrics and activism, his album, RTJ4, made Variety’s “Best Albums of 2020” list alongside Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, and he was named as the recipient of 2020’s Billboard Change Maker Award. Of all his roles and responsibilities, recognition and celebration, Mike is most proud to be called “husband” to Shana, and “father” to two sons and two daughters.
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