Michael Render, a.k.a. Killer Mike
Activist. Entrepreneur. Rapper. Actor.
Michael Render, publicly known as Killer Mike, is a husband, father, activist, businessman and GRAMMY Award-winning artist. He is as synonymous with Atlanta as the iconic brands, Coca-Cola and The Varsity. Raised in the Adamsville/Collier Heights neighborhood on the Northwest side of the city, Render made a name for himself as an activist well before he ever recorded a single song. He was raised by his grandfather, a union member, and grandmother, a civil rights activist, meaning being socially and politically active came naturally.

It would be easy for someone of Render’s stature to focus exclusively on his career, but Render is deeply connected to his community. For the past two years, he’s held back-to-school events offering free haircuts, braids, and school supplies for Atlanta children. His 2018 back-to-school event was held over multiple weekends in July and August and served over 250 children and youth. His commitment to arts and culture was celebrated recently when he was appointed to a three-year term for the prestigious High Museum of Art.

The pride of Atlanta, the city dubbed an $11.6 million boring machine, “Driller Mike,” in his honor. Fiercely committed to fighting for what is right, Render has worked locally with the anti-violence organization, Black Teens for Advancement and the Atlanta/Fulton Commission on Children and Youth, and its program, Kids 4 a Change.

In July of 2016, Render used his considerable influence to urge citizens to move their money to Black-owned banks. The Bank Black program is estimated to have moved more than $60 million to black-owned banking institutions. He was later presented with the James E. Young Visionary Leadership Award by the National Bankers Association for his impact.

Outside of his business and philanthropic interests, Render is committed to supporting political candidates who center the needs of ordinary people. His tireless advocacy on behalf of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders during Sanders’ 2016 presidential bid captivated the nation, leading Render to become one of the Senator’s highest-profile and most persuasive supporters. Render later supported Keisha Lance Bottoms’ mayoral bid and served on her transition team once she was elected mayor.

Render’s principled positions have gained him fans—or “supporters” as he likes to refer to them—from all around the world. After releasing several solo albums, Render found his artistic kindred spirit in an unlikely source, producer and New York City native Jamie “El-P” Meline. The pair began working together in 2012 on Render’s last solo album R.A.P. Music in 2012. The musical chemistry was undeniable and the two went on to form the chart-smashing group, Run the Jewels. The duo continues to experience exponential growth and popularity.

After releasing their third, self-titled album in 2017—the first to top Billboard Magazine’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart—Killer Mike and his partner El-P toured with Lorde over a 15-month span. In addition to wowing audiences with his lyrical genius, Render spoke passionately about suicide and suicide prevention. His remarks further endeared favor with fans across the world.

Ever investing and giving back, Render recently partnered with the NBA to open a barbershop inside the Atlanta Hawks Phillips Arena, a shop that boasts a full-view of the basketball court and game.

Despite his massive success and popularity, Render has always maintained a humble nature. He is a man of the people in the truest sense. When he isn’t performing to sold-out venues, Render is often found at his SWAG Barbershops on Roosevelt Highway, Edgewood Avenue and soon, Phillips Arena. He is a devoted husband to Shana Render, and the proud father of Malik, Aniyah, Pony Boy and Mikey.