As REVOLT previously reported, the Recording Academy unveiled a list of nominations for the 2024 Grammy Awards, which saw many of R&B and hip hop’s current frontrunners leading the pack. One of those acknowledged was Killer Mike, who’s sixth solo LP, MICHAEL, placed him in the running for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, and Best Rap Performance.

Today (Dec. 6), NME shared an interview with Killer Mike that they conducted prior to the nominations being made public. In said feature, the Run The Jewels emcee was asked about his feelings on winning the coveted trophy.

“I’m not gonna lie and act like I don’t want it, or I’m above it and just do it for the art. I would like for MICHAEL to be recognized. Van Gogh was so amazing, but he died unrecognized. I don’t want to die unrecognized,” the Atlanta talent admitted to the publication. “I heard Muhammad Ali talk about being humble… For as humble in spirit as I am, people really look at me and listen a lot better when I got eight pounds of gold on my neck because they know I’m not f**king playin’!”

He continued by reflecting on the impact of Lauryn Hill‘s debut album. “I would like an opportunity to have those trophies. I’ll never forget what Lauryn made Black girls and girls across the board feel with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. And seeing her with that armful of Grammys,” he added. “The people that have supported me for 20 years and Run The Jewels in the last 10 years… I would like to give them that feeling.” Notably, Killer Mike’s appearance on Outkast’s “The Whole World” earned him a 2003 Grammy for Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group.

MICHAEL was released back in June with 14 songs and additional contributions from CeeLo Green, André 3000, Mozzy, 6LACK, Ty Dolla $ign, Curren$y, 2 Chainz, and more. A deluxe edition arrived a short time later with T.I., JID, Jacquees, and Young Nudy providing assists. MICHAEL stands as Killer Mike’s highest-charting solo release to date.