“Killer Mike”, born as Michael Santiago Render, is an American rapper, actor, and activist. Killer Mike is also the founder of Grind Time Official Records. He is the star of Netflix’s Trigger Warning with Killer Mike, where “In this funny and provocative series, rapper and activist Killer Mike puts his revolutionary ideas about achieving social change into action”.
At first I thought it was humorous, rounding up some neighborhood crip homies and starting a brand of soda called ‘Crip-A-Cola’. Then I realized that not only was it a good idea, it was a profitable one for the group of young men.
Killer Mike talks about how ‘white gangs’ such as motorcycle clubs are able to produce legal revenue through monetizing their culture. Why is it farfetched for people in a ‘black gang’ to develop legal streams of income based on their culture? Killer Mike, although in an incredibly unorthodox way, shows how easy it is for us to create a business based off of our own culture. Crips made “Crip-A-Cola”. Bloods made “Blood Pop”. Whether you think it’s corny or not, it is a growing business earning real revenue. That’s the name of the game, creating streams of income.
This idea of ‘maintaining cultural integrity while increasing revenue streams’ is best displayed in the life and career of Nipsey Hussle, may he rest in peace and his lessons be received not forgotten. We can create more opportunities for ourselves than we might admit, and certainly more then our enemies will ever admit. Let’s learn from this lesson and strive for self-sufficiency.