The career Killer Mike was chasing before he began rapping
(Credit: Jonathan Mannion)

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The career Killer Mike was chasing before he began rapping

The rap duo Run The Jewels are arguably one of the best acts in hip-hop. Along with duos such as Kriss Kross and Rae Sremmurd, Run The Jewels have found their way into the hip-hop history books and, unlike certain duos, are still going to this day. Killer Mike has been a low-key figure in Southern rap since the 1990s.

Last year, Killer Mike released his album Michael, which featured tracks with Outkast’s André 3000, Atlanta rapper Future, and Detroit vocalist Eryn Allen Kane. However, before he even entered the music industry, he was looking for a career somewhere else.

In an interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music 1, Killer Mike (real name Michael Render) revealed that he was looking to become a pilot before he found fame as an emcee. In fact, he told Lowe that he was encouraged to become a pilot, disclosing, “You’re seeing that kid’s imagination fight not to die in the fourth grade when Miss Ely said: ‘You’re too smart to be a rapper, Michael, you should be a pilot.'”

He continued, “So when he got a chance to learn how to fly for free at another high school, he went with Slim from 112, and they learned how to fly planes together. And then he went back to his fourth-grade teacher and said: ‘I still want to be a rapper.’”

Render always continued music. However, he faced some obstacles along the way. Following the release of Micahel, the ‘Scientists & Engineers’ musician spoke with SPIN magazine about his early days, discloing, “My first record deal damaged me. It made me afraid, it pulled me back. I hadn’t done terribly on the major. I just, you know, I came out the same year as 50 [Cent], selling 10million fucking records. I sold, you know, 500,000.”

However, in comparison to artists like 50 Cent, Render realised he wasn’t selling considerable amounts and concluded that he would be better off moving in low-key “independent circles.”

You can listen to Render’s interview with Zane Lowe in the video below.