Ask a rapper about wrestling with Killer Mike
It may come as a surprise that at Extra Mustard we do actually listen to things beyond indie rock. In fact, we pride ourselves on our eclectic tastes, which should be evident from the borderless oeuvre of content you can find here. However, it’s true that our Ask An Indie Rock Dude About Sports series has fenced off the grand musicological scope to four chords and a whine. That changes now.
Introducing our latest musician interview series, Ask A Rapper About Wrestling! Why not debut Ask A Rapper About Sports? Because hip-hop, unlike indie rock, already has pretty vocal team allegiances, as everyone from Kurtis Blow to Lil B can attest. Instead, we’re focusing on wrestling. It’s more specific, and a topic you can’t always glean from the rhymes.
With that, we introduce our first subject. Killer Mike is a living legend. You may know him from his mid-2000s run with Outkast and similarly-minded early solo albums, but it’s much more likely you know him from the last two Run The Jewels albums, conveniently titled Run The Jewels and Run The Jewels 2. The sequel, which was only released a couple months ago, is pumped full of steely electronics, headknock drums, and some of the boldest stay-woke poetry you’ll ever hear or fear. Alongside his music career and activism, Mike is also a huge wrestling fan, so we caught up with him over email about his love of the early NWA days, his distrust of Hulk Hogan, and who he loves from the modern era.
Extra Mustard: How long have you been a wrestling fan?
Killer Mike: I’ve been watching wrestling since I was three years old.
EM: What was the first wrestling show you went to?
KM: I went to a Turner Broadcasting, when it was a small operation in the ‘80s, with my adult cousin Caroline, who was also a big fan.
EM: What makes you love Ric Flair so much?
KM: Flair was the greatest interview ever. The perfect heel, and he really set the stage for what the modern athlete could say in an interview. He always backed up his talk. Whether it was wins or Rolexes, Flair had it all!
EM: What makes NWA and WCW better than WWF/WWE?
KM: NWA was "real" blood gore and rivalry. Being a southerner, it felt more authentic than WWF/WWE, and I like the fact wrestlers from different territories fought each other. The Flair vs. Von Erich feud is a perfect example.
EM: You’ve gone on record about your distaste of Hulk Hogan. What don’t you trust about the Hulkster?
KM: I never liked Hogan because I don’t think he was the true champion like Ric Flair. I also felt like he was lying to me, and he proved the latter to be true. I prefer a real villain to a false hero.
EM: You namedrop Jake the Snake Roberts on your latest record, who’s one of the greatest promos in the history of the business. What drew you to The Snake?
KM: Jake "The Snake" Roberts of Stone Mountain Georgia was the darkest! I mean, he could’ve been a movie villain he was so intense! He also had the hardest finishing move of all time, the DDT.
EM: Sting just made his debut in WWE. What’s your favorite Sting memory?
KM: My favorite Sting memory is probably when the Road Warriors (best tag team ever) turned on him. It was a classic heel move.
EM: Outside of Flair, who are your favorite wrestlers?
KM: I am a fan of:
The original Four Horsemen, Ole & Arn, Tully, Flair & J.J. Dillon manager
The Road Warriors/Legion of Doom
Abdullah the Butcher
George The Animal Steele
The Von Erichs
The Steiner Brothers
The Iron Sheik
Rock ‘n Roll Express
Stone Cold Steve Austin
The Dudley Boyz
Behind Flair, my favorite is Chris Benoit, possibly the greatest of all time.
EM: Do you keep up with the product today at all? Are your kids big Cena fans or anything like that?
KM: My boys love Cena. I like him, but Randy Orton is my guy.
EM: What would be your finishing move?
KM: My finishing move is the DDT, all day everyday! Or a piledriver!
EM: What’s your favorite match of all time?
KM: Dusty Rhodes vs. Abdullah the Butcher. It was bloody, mean, and wild; it was wrasslin’ at its finest! The bloody era of the ‘80s was my favorite because it was all about getting the audience to suspend disbelief. You go back and watch those matches and they still feel real.
Second would be Ric Flair vs. Ronnie Garvin in the cage. It was brutal!