Killer Mike has shared a two part short film tribute to his late mother comprising a pair of songs from his forthcoming album MICHAEL (out June 16 via Loma Vista Recordings), including his most recent single “DON’T LET THE DEVIL (feat EL-P & thankugoodsir)” and the previously unreleased song “MOTHERLESS (feat Eryn Allen Kane).”
In keeping with the album’s nakedly autobiographical nature, the two-parter kicks off with Mike digging through keepsakes in his mother’s Atlanta home when he discovers and smokes a joint among her belongings that unlocks a wave of memories.
“DON’T LET THE DEVIL,” directed by Davi Peña based on a treatment by EL-P, is a joyful and nostalgic homage to the parties Mama Niecy used to throw in the family’s home. Mike notes: “El’s heard me talk about these bohemian-artsy-disco infused parties my mom used to throw when I was kid. I’d hear everything there- that’s where I first heard Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow & Whodini. So when we were trying to figure out what the video for ‘DON’T LET THE DEVIL’ should be – Jaime came back with this treatment written out and I cried at the end. What’s even crazier is he didn’t know what we were doing for ‘MOTHERLESS’ either but that’s the magic I guess.”
“MOTHERLESS,” directed by Shane Smith, is a somber tribute to the impact she had on all around her, culminating in a recreation of the moment Mike rapped the phrase “my Momma dead” in the recording studio, realizing after that it was the first time he had spoken those words aloud.
“When I first played Dion (No I.D.) the album he said two things – one of which was that I was essentially holding something back and that was the song ‘MOTHERLESS,’” Mike explains. “It was the last song made for the album because I hadn’t uttered these words out loud since her transitioning. When I tell the story of my mother the tales told include one when I walked in on her attempting to take her own life- it gets to the heart of how deeply sensitive an artist and human she was. She survived, was diagnosed bi-polar and depressed; she fought that until the day she died.
“She lived a beautifully rich outlaw of a life and I am honored to show her as the total beautiful badass she was.” He continues “These aren’t meant to be sad videos or eulogies. This is a celebration of a BAD A__ BLACK GIRL from the westside of Atlanta. She’s been affectionately called OG Mama Niecy by the many people she helped stay on their path.”