On Friday (June 16), Killer Mike dropped off his new album, MICHAEL, with a record featuring one of hip hop’s most respected artists, André 3000. The reclusive other half of Outkast sets the tone for the first single, “Scientists & Engineers,” which also features fellow Atlanta native Future and boasts production from James Blake, No I.D., DJ Paul, and Twhy Xclusive.
While promoting the new project, Mike dropped by “The Breakfast Club,” where he recalled how he managed to land a verse from 3 Stacks. To his own surprise, the collaboration was born from Mike simply asking Dre for his opinion. “I’m like, ‘Stacks, I want you to hear something.’ ‘Cause he changed my life. Him and Big Boi gave me an opportunity to change my life, so I want them to be proud of me; whatever I’m doing, it matters, their opinion,” he explained to DJ Envy and Charlamagne tha God on Friday.
Mike continued, “I play it for him, and I just want his opinion … he said, ‘Kill, hard man.’ And I was just like, I was like warm, man. He said, ‘Man, you mind if I call back tomorrow and bring you something?’ … He came with two records. One where he was singing, and it was a beautiful record. He ends up taking that one back ‘cause he wants to use it for something. And then he had the ‘Scientists & Engineers’ verse, which as a rapper, you look for other rappers to get you excited about rapping. It’s a spirit of competition … I was just like, okay, this it.”
The “Trigger Warning” host then revealed that it was Dre’s idea to put Future on the track. “It becomes, it flowers, it opens up. No I.D. does that part. Now, you gotta come behind this, and you gotta shine in a way that’s not mimicking that … So I sat with it a few months just riding it, listening,” said Mike. “And then one day, I went through seven [or] eight different flows, and then one day, the flow just came … The first third is Dre and James Blake, and the next one, No I.D. produces on the Future — you got Future on a No I.D. beat — and then DJ Paul comes back in, and it goes under mine. Now at this point, it’s just pornography; it’s just a wet dream of your hip hop fantasy.”
MICHAEL marks Killer Mike’s first studio album since his 2016 release of Run The Jewels 3. Aside from Dre and Future, the project also boasts features from CeeLo Green, Young Thug, Mozzy, 6LACK, Eryn Allen Kane, Jagged Edge, Ty Dolla $ign, Curren$y, 2 Chainz, and others.
Killer Mike’s full interview can be viewed below.
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