Last month, Killer Mike announced his first solo album in over a decade with the release of “Don’t Let The Devil.” The song, produced by his longtime partner in rhyme El-P and veteran Chicago beatmaker No I.D., finds Mike warning listeners not to “let the devil coerce you.”
This week, Mike followed up with a two-part music video release. The first part, which is for “Don’t Let The Devil” follows the Atlanta rapper as he unpacks his formative memories — literally, as he peruses a box of old photos — then attends a party where he plays cards with a group of OGs. However, he begins to reflect, remembering his relationship with his late mom, sparking the connection to Part 2: the video for “Motherless.”
In the second video, which features Eryn Allen Kane, Mike recalls his mom’s passing as he views dramatized scenes from her life. The video ends with a scene of benediction by a riverside, echoing the gospel elements in the song’s instrumental. In a statement, Mike revealed that “Motherless” was the last song he recorded for the album at No I.D.’s behest.
“It was the last song made for the album because I hadn’t uttered these words out loud since her transitioning. When I tell the story of my mother the tales told include one when I walked in on her attempting to take her own life- it gets to the heart of how deeply sensitive an artist and human she was. She survived, was diagnosed bi-polar and depressed; she fought that until the day she died. She lived a beautifully rich outlaw of a life and I am honored to show her as the total beautiful badass she was…
These aren’t meant to be sad videos or eulogies. This is a celebration of a BAD ASS BLACK GIRL from the westside of Atlanta. She’s been affectionately called OG Mama Niecy by the many people she helped stay on their path.
He also explained the inspiration behind the two videos. “El’s heard me talk about these bohemian-artsy-disco infused parties my mom used to throw when I was kid,” he said. “I’d hear everything there- that’s where I first heard Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow & Whodini. So when we were trying to figure out what the video for ‘Don’t Let The Devil’ should be – Jaime came back with this treatment written out and I cried at the end. What’s even crazier is he didn’t know what we were doing for ‘Motherless’ either but that’s the magic I guess.”
Watch Killer Mike’s videos for “Don’t Let The Devil” and “Motherless above.