Rappers have long documented on the reasoning why they grind, but few have carried their content over into the how’s and what’s. Killer Mike, on the contrary, has made it his life’s mission to show the world just how far a little bit of elbow grease, rhythm and 808s can take you. What started as a simple testament to the working pariah manifested into a full-fledged movement with the I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind series. Five years after the original, Mike Bigga is back with the slyly-titled PL3DGE to forcibly push his agenda into street legislation.
Even though he’s had a prominent career which even dates back to 2000’s multi-platinum Stankonia, PL3DGE still makes a great starting place for those new to Killer Mike because it showcases the extensive range of his abilities. The attentiveness of the community like a social worker; the outspokenness of a Southern resident; the versatile enunciation of a confident MC; it’s all here. For the assertive types, Mike serves up Molotov cocktails, masked as trunk rattlers with “Animal,” his beastly collaboration with Gucci Mane that aims to turn the club into an uncontrollable zoo. And there’s the turbulent “Go Out On The Town” which employs semi-automatic verses from him and Jeezy, an infectious chorus and a fiery bassline that will have all the cars in Atlanta riding by with the booming system.
As with all Killer Mike offerings, it gets much deeper beneath the surface. “So Glorious” is an incredible 4 minute tongue-lashing on all things ugly, spoken from the heart of a partisan citizen, indigenous to the ghetto. History repeats itself on the Grind’s sequel of the sequel on “God In The Building II,” with comparisons to Daniel in the lion’s den, galore. Sequentially, the unabashed “That’s Life II” takes the gold medal for the best eye-opening moment on the LP. Over long-term collaborators Smif & Cash’s riotous backdrop, Mike calls out Obama, Bishop Eddie Long and White conservatives for specific questioning instead of just being condescending in his opinions.
PL3DGE isn’t without sin, though. Even in all its trailblazing glory that gives the hood a much needed gut check, it has its backsliding moments; breaking off into random chick songs without warning that disrupt the flow. “Swimming” is a sobriquet for pimping women, as Killer Kill lists off all his black book of tricks over a spiraling mess of synthesizers and off-key singing. “Player’s Lullaby” also sticks out like the song’s coinciding harlots in Sunday Mass amid the rest of food for thought at the buffet line.
The perceived shortcomings only enhance the figure of Michael Render, a man who never claimed to be perfect yet strives for the apex and challenges the people to do the same. It comes as no surprise PL3DGE stands for something and falls in line accordingly.