Killer Mike was detained at the 66th Grammy Awards at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles Sunday afternoon, shortly after winning three of the four rap categories in the pre-show telecast about two hours earlier.
Breaking: Rapper Killer Mike has been taken away in handcuffs in https://t.co/aF2yiyTHol arena after winning 3 #Grammys during telecast (Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance for “Scientists & Engineers,” Best Rap Album for Michael) “Free Mike” someone shouts as he walks past. pic.twitter.com/4epfmzqMt8
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— Chris Gardner (@chrissgardner) February 5, 2024
Video captured by The Hollywood Reporter’s Chris Gardner showed Mike, whose real name is Michael Render, being taken away in handcuffs. Gardner reported that an official said the arrest was related to an unspecified misdemeanor that didn’t have to do with any happenings during the Grammys on Sunday. (A rep for Los Angeles Police Department HQ told Rolling Stone they didn’t have information to provide at press time. A rep for Killer Mike did not immediately reply to a request for comment.)
The detainment came shortly after the rapper had gone to the press area fielding questions about his win — elated to have been recognized after more than 20 years into his hip-hop career. “It feels absolutely grand,” Render said. “If it feels like some people are reaching the finish line first, don’t worry. Just keep running your race. The only thing stopping you is your imagination. It’s our responsibility to be grand in every action.”
Sunday’s award marked the first time Render had won a Grammy for his solo work. His first win came more than two decades ago for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group alongside Outkast for “The Whole World.” Prior to 2024, he was last nominated in 2018 for Best Rap Song for “Chase Me,” the Run the Jewels collaboration with Danger Mouse and Big Boi.
Ironically, Mike’s father served as a policeman in Atlanta. In 2014, he told The Fader that his father wanted him and his siblings to be “good citizens,” but he didn’t want them to join the police force.
Mike also referenced his father in 2020, during an emotional press conference amid intense protests in the wake of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s police killings.
“I’m the son of an Atlanta City Police Officer. My cousin is an Atlanta City Police Officer…I got a lot of love and respect for police officers,” he said standing alongside then-Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and rapper T.I. Mike, along with T.I. also made polarizing pleas for Atlanta residents to stop looting and burning area establishments.
He noted, “I’m duty bound to be here to simply say that it is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy. It is your duty to fortify your own house so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization.”
Mike has frequently discussed the failings of the police system in his music, in interviews, and a 2014 op-ed about the Ferguson uprising,” where he wrote “I will never take a day off policing the people we pay and keep a public trust with. I will use my camera, my pen, my pad and my network to do my part, to make sure that American will no longer fear their government. or it’s employees. They work for us — not the other way around.
This is not the first time an artist has been arrested on the site of an awards show. In 2006, Yaasin Bey was arrested by the NYPD after a guerilla-style street performance. He traveled to Radio City Music Hall, where the MTV Video Music Awards were taking place, and performed “Katrina Clap,” a remix of UTP’s “Nolia Clap” that spoke on the Hurricane Katrina tragedy. Though Bey’s then-publicist claimed he had a permit to perform, he was still arrested after a crowd gathered around the flatbed truck he was performing on.
This is a developing story…
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