Published Oct 25, 2013I don't know if anyone's having a better time at the Pop Explosion than Killer Mike — at least from the vibes coming off the stage. He started by explaining that, as a young black kid growing up in Atlanta, the only thing he knew about Canada was that this was the place that African-Americans could flee slavery and find freedom.
Launching into "Big Beast" — "I don't make dance music, I make R-A-P" — Mike announced his presence in both senses. Just a microphone and a DJ, this was a straight-up hip-hop show; for Mike, it also stands for Revolutionary African People's music. Throughout his set, Killer Mike embraced the politics of positivity, spending more time celebrating Canada, Halifax, hip-hop and the sheer delight of doing his thing; only occasionally did it turn more critical, although it's hard to deny the delight of getting a packed and moshing crowd to yell "Fuck Ronald Reagan."
Religion came up more than politics; this was his church, and he took every opportunity to preach, repeating lyrics a cappella if he felt the backing track wasn't allowing his message to be heard. With constant fist-pumping enthusiasm, Killer Mike left his congregation basking in the glory that is his church of hip-hop.