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Killer Mike is a beloved member of Run The Jewels, but nobody can question his investment in his solo career. Michael, his first solo album since 2012’s R.A.P. Music, is due next week. Ahead of its release, the Atlanta artist, actor, and activist is the latest cover star for Spin. The accompanying story by Khari Nixon revealed what it cost for Killer Mike to actualize Michael:

“It wasn’t before long that [Cuz] Lightyear had an official job title on the project: A&R. With that job came a salary. Killer Mike paid it out of pocket. By the time they’d brought the project to No ID to transform it from mixtape to album, Mike was over a quarter-million dollars in the hole. As things developed, that number ballooned to over a half-million. This type of bill would normally place an artist in hot water with their label. At the time, Killer Mike was a free agent. He would eventually strike a deal with Loma Vista Records, which has distributed records by Denzel Curry and Action Bronson, to distribute Michael upon release. The advance from that deal would reimburse Mike for the money he’d invested into making the album.”

Killer Mike also recalled that his wife, Shana Render, wasn’t pleased with his financial decisions. “She’s like, ‘Well n****, I’m glad you being reimbursed ’cause I got some issues that you spending half-a-million f*cking dollars on a dream project,” he said.

Killer Mike recently released “Don’t Let The Devil” featuring El-P and “Motherless” featuring Eryn Allen Kane. At last weekend’s 4th Annual Black Music Moguls Brunch in Atlanta, he explained that “Scientists & Engineers” featuring André 3000, Kane, and Future nearly didn’t make the tracklist.

“[André 3000] called, and he was like, ‘Kill, I don’t know about the song, man. We just got a good rap record, man,’” Mike told the crowd. “And then, Cuz is like, ‘You sent ’em the final record?’ I was like, ‘Nah.’ I sent it over with Eryn’s hook and stuff. He hit back with, ‘Yeah, yeah, you got the record. Who is that?!’ So, thank you, Eryn. I really appreciate you for that.”

Beginning in July, Killer Mike will embark on his supporting solo headlining The High & Holy Tour. See all of his upcoming dates here.

Michael is out 6/16 via Loma Vista Recordings. Find more information here.

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