Album Review: Killer Mike’s PL3DGE

With his latest album PL3DGE, Killer Mike continues to walk the fine line of offering gripping social commentary and vivid tales of life as a dope boy. On the opening track, “So Glorious,” he claims that PL3DGE is his magnum opus. Mike pushes hard to back up his bold statement on “That’s Life II.”

He goes after influential black leaders, such as Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey and President Obama, for not speaking out against the police murder of Oscar Grant. Mike also questions Puffy Combs on his propensity for bragging about money. “That even goes for Puffy who so [expletive] paid that he richer than these white folks, or at least that’s what he say. And them petty [expletive] love it, think about it, what’s a rapper standing next to Warren Buffet?”

On “Ric Flair,” Mike raps like a big brother advising a young street kid on ways to leave his block and achieve success. “To make it out the ice cold streets of the city, you gotta politic your situation like Clinton.” Mike sounds as inspirational as a preacher on Sunday morning on the soulful “God in The Building II.” “Go Out On The Town,” “Players Lullaby” and “Swimming” keep Mike in touch with his core street audience. However, he’s at his best when being as adversarial as a young Ice Cube or Chuck D.

“In America, the crooks get the castles, never see a Rothschild or Rockefeller shackled. While Rockefeller drug laws keep us in a shackle, eventually this weed will be as legal as tobacco,” he raps on “American Dream.”

T.I., Big Boi, Young Jeezy, Twista and Gucci Mane make adequate guest appearances on PL3DGE, but Mike’s overall message is never distorted.

Although the mainstream will likely miss the point, PL3DGE reminds us of a time when rappers strived to be intelligent on record. –amir shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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