Trigger Warning with Killer Mike (2019) s01e05 Episode Script

Outside the Box

1 Bein' a rapper is more tumultuous than people think.
People think your rock flows, you do shows, you lay hoes, but that's not how it goes.
Don't let the clothes fool you.
Oftentimes, you're sleeping on floors, trying to make it week to week, and you have this perception you're already rich, so it ain't like you can go get a job at the Wendy's to hold you down until it really pops off.
And then, even once you become a rapper, there's no promise you're gonna have a hit record, and if you have a hit record, there's no real promise of longevity.
I want to do whatever I can to maintain my level of success.
Well, you don't make money just talkin', and doing the same things to the same people.
You have to broaden your audience.
So, I'm reachin' out to the fastest growing and most neglected demographic possible.
In America today, there are 50 million people over the age of 65, and I want a piece of that action.
So I booked a rap show at Mount Vernon Towers, one of Atlanta's finest, assisted-living facilities, to see if the elderly could appreciate my music.
You think I stand a chance here? I really want to get them on my side.
Uh Honestly, I I feel like this is a generation that does not really want to change.
- Gotcha.
- Everything is just already set, and they're probably never gonna be your audience.
What kind of music do they like? Anyone from from their own era, you know, from the '30s, '40s, '50s.
They actually even like a little bit of Elvis, but - Just a little.
- Yes.
I had a few hours to kill before the show, so I decided to hang out with some residents.
You know, do some activity.
And nice gathering breath.
Palm over palm.
Let's breathe in, and we go chi-chi-chi-chi-chi-chi-chi! And again.
Chi-chi-chi-chi-chi-chi-chi! [Caller.]
Bang! Bingo! - Oh! - Bingo.
- Yeah! - Boom-boom-boom-boom.
- [Caller.]
Okay, we have a bingo.
- Come on, give it to me, Ma.
What do you guys think of rap music? - Too loud.
Too fast.
- It is loud.
My problem is I don't understand the words.
That's like me with Spanish music.
Besides the gap in musical taste, I was also concerned there would be gaps in our politics.
So I sat down with one of the residents to see if we could find some common ground.
- Have you ever smoked marijuana? - One time.
- Did you like it? - No.
- What do you mean? - Well, I couldn't tell the difference.
What about guns? How do you feel about guns? I really believe that everybody should be able to have a gun.
As do I.
But the problems are happening from people who shouldn't be having guns.
Well What scares me about guns is white men.
Yeah, 'cause every time a school shootin' happens or act of terror in this country, it seems like it's some crazy-lookin' white guy.
So maybe we should ban white guys from having guns.
- [Chuckles.]
- No, I I think both the robbers and most of them are black Really? You think most robbers are black? - Mm-hmm.
- Blacks make up 13% of the population.
Most robbers can't be black.
We ain't robbin' people in, say, Iowa or Kansas.
People still gettin' robbed there.
But there's enough blacks totally, that they do cause most of the crimes.
You think we cause most of the problems.
Well, I'm getting everything from the news.
Well, you The news is bad.
The news is Like, what'd your guy say? - "Fake news.
" It's - Fake news.
Yeah, I think it's set up to keep people who look like me and you afraid of one another.
'Cause as long as we're afraid of one another, we kind of are here, but if we ever start dialoguin' and talkin' and kind of got to here, I think we will require the news to present the news differently.
- Well, you're probably right there.
- Yeah.
But I still think most of the shootings and robberies are done by blacks.
If the rest of the residents shared this lady's opinions, I was in trouble.
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen.
And today, we're going to feature a barbershop quartet with a little twist.
[Plays note.]
[All hum note.]
Bun, bun, bun, bun Lie, cheat, steal, kill, win, now Gotta cheat, gotta kill Everybody's doin' it Here's a man you're sure to like Give it up for Killer Mike [vocalizing.]
I’m fly as a Pegasus That’s no embellishment I came to pain the whole world Where the Excedrin? Good pussy, good marijuana That be my medicine And I'm a mixture of MJG And the Weathermen A revolutionary Bangin' on my adversaries And I love Dr.
King But violence might be necessary 'Cause when you stay on MLK And it gets very scary You might have to pull an AK Send one to the cemetery We overworked, underpaid And we underprivileged They love us, they love us, why? Because we feed the village You really made it or just Became a prisoner of privilege? You willin to share that information That you've been given? Like who really run this? Like who really run that man That say he run this? By the looks on their faces, I was pretty sure they were hating every minute of it.
One dude even rolled out halfway through.
Lie, cheat, steal, kill, win, now Gotta cheat, gotta kill Everybody's doin' it Lie.
The positive reaction surprised me, and I thought maybe they just didn't understand the words.
So, the hook says, "Lie, cheat, steal, kill, win.
Everybody doin' it.
" Because oftentimes, even though we tell our children to be moral, and to be good, and not cheat and things like that, the people that we support are liars, cheaters, and villains, and killers.
And I think that we, as a constituency, could do a better job questioning authority.
And like my patch says, "Kill Your Masters.
" We should all honor no masters and serve no kings, so That's what that song, in all its cursing and perversions, is about.
It turned out, the majority of these folks weren't as close-minded as I feared.
If you like Sinatra, you'll love Jay-Z and Biggie.
Yeah, Jay-Z and Biggie.
If you like Sinatra, Jay-Z and Biggie are your guys.
- You have those two guys.
- And I knew right then, I was definitely addin' some old folks' homes to my next tour.
But I also realized that there was an opportunity to do more than just line my pockets.
See, the problem in America today everyone's in their own little bubble.
And these bubbles keep us divided.
We don't talk to each other or see other points of view.
What the old folks proved to me was that music can burst those bubbles and bring all types of people together.
And that gave me an idea.
If I could take a musical artist from every bubble and bring them together to collaborate on a song, a balls-to-the-wall political anthem, maybe it could make America just a little bit less divided.
The first step, recruit the talent.
I put out a call for politically diverse musicians to audition for a super group.
I even brought T-Pain along to be the celebrity guest judge and mentor.
The best candidates would write a political anthem together and perform it at an upcoming Run the Jewels show.
And the people who showed up came from every race, religion, and subculture.
Exactly what I needed.
I voted for Donald Trump.
I'm a big Trump supporter.
I worked for the Georgia Renaissance Festival for 23 years.
I'm a Yamassee Native American Moor.
No man-made religions.
Just straight cosmo connection.
This is my cunt coat.
- [Mike.]
So, you're a Christian? - I am.
- Why? - [Laughs.]
'Cause I love the Lord.
- Like Jesus, the Lord? - Yeah.
- Jesus.
- Was he black? - Was he black? - That's what I said.
You know what? I'm not sure.
- Black people always answer like that.
- I just know - That's the safest way.
- White people give you unequivocal no.
- I know he's a spirit, and that - Was he white? - And that, uh Was he white? - Yeah.
I look at Jesus as clear.
Hello What'd you say? [Mike.]
I was looking for extreme views, but it wasn't always clear which flag people were flying.
Like culturally, I'm trying to understand what I'm about to hear.
- 'Cause I'm seein' a rock guitar.
- Right.
And I'm seein' a very hip-hop-ish vest, - and I'm seein' a sombrero - Right.
They also had to have musical ability.
So everyone got a chance to perform a song of their choice.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star Oh, say, can you see When the blazing sun is gone And he no more sings along And then you have to show your light Oh, twinkle, twinkle All through the night No pipe I'll smoke No horse I'll yoke Jinzo the Juggalo, When I'm representin' While you're singin' the anthem I'm in the corner shittin' I'm a scandalous, devious Satanist Upside-down stars on the flag When I flip it, bitch And I extended a personal invitation to a guy I'd met while shooting another episode, because I felt like we kind of got off on the wrong foot.
- Hey.
- Hi.
It's good to see you again.
- Great to see you, great to be here.
- Good to see you again.
I met Mario about a week ago.
Especially despite our altercation.
Shows what kind of person you - Not a real altercation.
- You had an altercation? Mario, you're an absolute fuckin' racist.
Let me say, I'm sorry for calling you a racist.
I'm glad you started off with that 'cause that's what sticks out the most.
I found out he was an artist when we had the altercation, and he has a record called "In the Box" about not being boxed in.
'Cause, you know, I have a, a song called, "Don't Box Me In," or actually it's called "Box Me In," but the song's about not boxing me in.
So, if you'd like to do some of it for us, - we'd we'd - Yeah, I'd be down.
I don't have the instrumental track.
- A cappella? - Yeah, fuck it.
Well, so, it starts off where it's just like kind of Just a little bit great Just a little bit crazy Just as long as you don't box me in 'Cause when you box me in I want to break free Want to open the box Hope is not a glass box Don't want you to see - Thank you.
Thank you, Mario.
- Yeah.
- Nailed it.
- He got heart.
- Oh, thank you.
- He got heart.
- But with the melody, it's better.
- Love.
Thank you, man.
After a long day of auditions, I now had the pieces to put together the most diverse musical super group in the history of the universe.
I'm from Australia, and I'm a singer-songwriter.
I live here in Atlanta now.
You don't have to like me, but at the end of the day, you will respect me.
And that's what Sir Maejor means.
As a Trump supporter, I support his immigration policies.
Jinzo is the dude inside of my head, and I decided to use him as my MC persona.
I believe white supremacy comes from white men being jealous of black men for having big penises.
If you were a woman, born a woman, and you change into a man, you have to sit on a toilet to use the bathroom.
This here is my chief, Black Thunderbird Eagle, Maku.
As a Yamassee Native American, I recognize him as our one and only true chief.
I am an ambassador between Italy and the English monarchy.
"M Je T'aime," it means "M, I love you" in French.
And so, I jokingly say the letter "M" could be "Mario, I love you.
" Or it could be "Magnificence, I love you.
" Or "Malnutrition, I love you," which you shouldn't love malnutrition.
So, that's a joke, but still.
- Hey.
How y'all doing? - Hello.
- Good.
- Today, you're part of a super group.
Today, this super group is not about being vanilla.
It's not about being the same.
I would like for you to be who you are at your core.
All right? I do not want you to turn yourself down.
I want you to turn yourself up.
Because your voice represents a segment of people.
And all these people are gonna be brought together because of this group.
So I want you guys to be brave in expressing your own voice.
Balls to the wall, put your nuts on the table.
To make sure everyone was committed to speaking their truth, I gave them a challenge.
Each member had 15 minutes to write a verse about their unique identity to perform for the group.
Anyone who seemed like they were holding back would be eliminated.
Off the, o-o-o-off the [Vocalizing.]
I go by the name of Sir Maejor.
President Black Lives Matter Greater.
Not to be confused with the other group, the moist group.
Shout out to all my white people that attended this lovely, beautiful march.
No, fuck that.
Put your hands down.
You don't get a cookie for bein' here.
"I feel like I'm supposed to feel bad because I'm white.
But my views have never been that white is right.
" Call the pussy weak again I'm gon' bitch-slap you If it wasn't for the pussy There would be no you "It's a soft genocide driving Trump supporters.
" And unite the right, tiki torchers.
You may mock them and call them Nazis.
"At least they realize the statues are proxies.
" I'm a Mexican, Puerto Rican Yo, American Remember the Native Americans The Indians, how they're slaughtered From the beginnin' They had dreams, too Were human beings, too I am a Jew.
Everyone got a chance to defend their work before the elimination.
The moist group I was trying to figure out what that meant.
- [Rivka.]
What does that mean? - So, "moist" means, uh "gay.
" - Okay.
That's what I figured.
- [Rivka.]
There's a difference between my group and another BLM group locally.
- We're not the moist group.
- Okay.
Yeah, offended.
And I'm not moist, but I was highly offended.
Highly offended, now I know what it means.
I didn't know what it meant, but that's completely, like - closed-minded and ignorant.
- It says Ironically, since you're coming from a place that's "activist," that's ignorant.
The fact that you said the Native Say that part again.
- Yeah.
Um - Native "Remember the Native Americans, the Indians, how they were slaughtered from the beginning.
" Now, I respect the fact about the slaughter, but true Native Americans, which I am myself, as a Yamassee Native American Moor Ouachita Mound Builders of the Creek Nation, BIA 1993/210.
- You understand? - [Mario.]
We don't like to be called "Indians.
" - Yes, but that's - You see what I'm saying? - So, to me, I get offended.
- But I also - That was my point, though.
- Offended.
- That was my point.
Earlier - Offended.
The aspect, or where I was coming from, was the fact that I'm from the South, and I'm a descendant of Robert E.
- So, my family goes - Oh, wow.
- Yeah, goes way back.
- Oh, wow.
- Damn! - I figured that shit.
Upfront, I'll be real honest, my take on the Civil War is the right side lost.
- Ooh! - Yeah.
After some lively conversation, I can now reveal who was goin' home.
Jonathan, Emmaline, you guys are not gonna make the group.
All right.
Thank you, guys, so much.
We're gonna go to the studio.
Hey, man, you did you did really good.
Thank you.
You look great.
I love your costume.
[Girl laughs.]
Now that the lineup was set, it was time to write the song.
So I gathered the band in the studio to reveal an original beat that they would each do a verse on.
Time to make hits.
We're in Stankonia Studios.
This is where Dre and Big Boy recorded Stankonia.
It's where I recorded my first album.
I recorded "I'm N Luv (Wit a Stripper)" here.
- Absolutely.
- [Mario.]
Oh, my God! [Mike.]
I fell in love with a stripper here.
- In this room.
- Yeah.
- No! Oh, my God.
- Right there, in this room.
I recorded "I'm N Luv (Wit a Stripper)".
[Music plays.]
[music plays through speakers.]
I asked the song's producer to draw inspiration from the super group.
So he borrowed some lyrics from one of Mario's previous songs for the hook.
So I'm singing I can't live my life Boxed in I don't know what this box is What is this place I'm lost in? I don't wanna be Wanna be boxed in I couldn't tell if Mario was excited, but I needed him to be all in.
- Mario.
This is your baby.
- Mm.
- This is your baby.
- It's a grandchild, but no, yeah.
- This is your Beyoncé moment.
- Grandchild! - Well, grandchild.
This is - You know.
I like it, though.
- I love her, anyway.
- This is your shit.
All right? "I'm N Luv (Wit a Stripper)" started as "I Kinda Like a Stripper.
" Little bit.
Then he went Then it turned to strong feelings.
So, kill it, basically, Mario.
I asked each member to take 24 hours to dig deep and write the strongest verse they could come up with.
The next day, the super group came back to the studio to lay their final verses down in the booth.
Everybody was havin' a great time, as our bubble-bursting political anthem was finally takin' shape.
But when Keith went to record his verse, somethin' happened.
Don't believe the soul of America Is open immigration I come from the ones who fought for And built up this great nation - [Laughs.]
Did you hear what he said? - All stuck in our little boxes So many words can trigger But there ain't no way in hell You're gonna guilt-trip This white nigger - [Laughing.]
- [Backing track.]
So I'm singin' I can't live my life "Nigger", under any circumstances, is greatly offensive.
And it's degrading.
- That's a word that's repeated often - Wait, wait.
in a lot of songs, that word's repeated very often.
It's a word to attach to whom may allow it.
There are some songs where that is literally every word.
I'm not gonna say it, but it's Who you talkin' to, though? We know this.
Look, this is looking at all perspectives of it, okay? I'm not agreeing with him using the word.
What I'm saying I don't wanna - need to avoid - Would you agree that in your family, there are names that your family, only your family, can call you? What I'm saying is that I'll call myself a faggot, and I don't expect other people not to call me a faggot.
- So, if I was to - If they do, I don't let it hurt me.
- So, there was a word - Because I'm more powerful - than the word "faggot.
" - That's double standard.
When I was on set the other day, and I used the word "moist," you was greatly offended! - That's not "faggot.
" That's "moist.
" - That's even - "Faggot" is worse.
- It's the meaning behind it.
- I don't even say "faggot.
" - Come on! Racial slurs are are hilarious, and they're just funny.
I mean, people You know, racial jokes, people used to tell them and and just laugh at them.
I'm jealous because you guys get "honky" and I don't.
And I think "honky" is one of the most hilarious words I've ever heard in my life.
- Hey, comrades.
- [Rivka.]
That was controversial.
- I just got a couple questions for you.
- I don't know, opinions Really, break down your lyrics, man, 'cause I I got a prob I - I'm not sittin' well with this.
- It's problematic.
Well, there's not a comma between "white" and, and N-word "nigger," or whatever.
I'm referring to myself.
I'm not referring to a third person.
Poor white Southerners during the Civil War had more in common with, say, slaves, because they were poor and they were competing against free labor.
And so that's that's the reference that I'm making.
When you say that you built this country - Explain that shit.
- What's wrong with you? It's the found I'm part of the founding stock.
One of I'm also I'm not only descended from Robert E.
Lee, but I'm also descended from Henry You ain't built shit.
Your people ain't built shit.
My people built this motherfucking country on the sweat, blood, and tears of slavery.
First off, shout out to Killer Mike, 'cause only somebody like Killer Mike could even think of somethin' so crazy and actually pull it off.
But the super group beyond weird.
Ultimately, the group decided that free speech should prevail.
So they would let Keith have his verse.
But all this conflict was starting to get to Mario.
I think everyone was creative in their own way.
However, by the end of this experience, I feel like I started to question what it is that I'm doing here as an artist.
Because I come from a place of being a solo artist.
I come from a place of making music the way that I want to make music, how I want to make music, when I want to make music, and what I want to make music about.
And then, you put me in this room full of people who don't know me, and you take my song, and you're inspired by it, yet you shit all over my fucking song.
Part of me wants to walk away.
Part of me wants to be, like, "You know what? This isn't worth it.
" Because am I losing You know, this is sacred.
Like, my opinions are I'm open to listening to other people's opinions and feeling what other people have to say, but at what cost? You know? And why? [Mike.]
It seemed like Mario was really close to havin' a breakdown, but he was gonna have to pull his shit together.
Because it was time to premiere the song in front of a real, live audience.
We opened the doors to the public, and the room soon filled with unsuspecting RTJ fans who had no idea what they were about to hear.
Could my super group overcome their internal divisions and make it through this performance? And how would the audience react when we burst their bubble? It was finally time to find out.
[Music plays.]
[Whistling and cheering.]
By the way, that's Mario.
So I'm singin' I can't live my life boxed in I don't know what this box is What is this place I'm lost in? I don't wanna be Wanna be boxed in I don't wanna be Wanna be boxed in I've been boxed in and boxed out Hold the glass ceilin' Of my glass house I've been judged all my fuckin' life Now, stronger I gotta stand and fight I'm a Nappy Boy Gonna make a change - So don't box me in - Don't box me in My creative energies Burstin' out this box I got the magic inside me Transformin' with my box Gender identity, my sexual identity Don't put me in the box I'm not [Mike.]
The crowd wasn't showing a lot of love, but I was proud of my super group.
Who would've thought a Satan-worshipping Juggalo would share a stage with a black cowboy who thinks Jesus is clear, or that a Jewish Renaissance enthusiast would be standing arm-in-arm with a white nationalist and an albino Black Lives Matter activist? It was kind of too bad the song had to end with "white nigger.
" All hung up in our little boxes So many words can trigger But there ain't no way in hell You're gonna guilt-trip This white nigger - [Man.]
Whoo! - [Second man.]
Confusion, mostly.
That's what I felt.
They could catch on some places, but I think they'd have to lose the last guy that came up and was rapping.
The "white nigger" line by the redneck was, was, I think, a little uncalled for.
The language he used and the negativity he brought to the group was very off-putting.
But you have to remember, music is music, and everybody has a message, so you just have to accept it.
Maybe you don't agree with it.
That's just how life is.
That's how America is.
Keith's lyrics offended a lot of people.
But most of them were just confused.
They'd been exposed to seven completely incompatible perspectives, from outside their bubble, and they didn't know what to think.
And that was the point.
Too many of us, even some of my own fans, are like the old folks in the Mount Vernon Towers.
We could all stand to hear from people outside of our bubble, even if we don't agree with them.
Even if they're offensive as fuck.
Maybe that's how change starts, you know.
We come together through adversity, and, like, get something done.
And the change had already begun.
Because this experiment had given at least one person a whole new outlook.
Rivka, she's a Jew.
But she's beautiful on the inside, you know.
And she made me see that Jews can be beautiful on the inside.