Killer Mike, one of the most socially conscious voices in rap, took to social media today to fight back against accusations that he tried to use unpaid labor to create designs for his Swag Shop. It all stems from a post he shared on Instagram looking for new design interns.
Someone applied and shared their correspondence on social media. The unnamed person was apparently told that Mike and the person running the shop, “were going to launch tee shirt and accessory line, it’s unpaid to start but if we use the designs we will figure out compensation as each shirt print will be limited in numbers.”
A few people online took that to mean that the rapper was looking to solicit free labor in order to line his pockets. It was a charge he immediately tried to explain and play down. “Your design gets picked u get paid,” he said on Twitter. “There is NOT a salary position. This is what Cory was trying to express. However if we use it we pay.”
He further explained that, “I’m NOT paying for design demos. If u as a artist Design something I like, I buy. That’s my deal.” Adding, “If I paid for all designs I don’t use I wud be broke.
He also described the process as a way to give unnoticed designers a shot in the industry, while also compensating them for their efforts.
When people came after him asking if that’s how it works in rap, he had something for them too.