HHV Recap | Killer Mike – Vancouver Coastal Jazz Festival 2024

Killer Mike and The Midnight Revival Choir
Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 06, 29, 24
As part of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival presented by, Coastal Jazz
Words: John Zee
Photos: David Dalley

Killer Mike, is a name in music that many people attach mostly to the popular rap duo, Run The Jewels. Now, while this perception is common and fair, Killer Mike is and has been an established solo artist for many years before his collaborative work with El-P and RTJ. This past Saturday evening, we witnessed this as he brought his High & Holy tour to Vancouver as part of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival presented by Coastal Jazz.

Killer Mike Jazz Festival
Killer Mike Jazz Festival Vancouver

Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, the southern rapper first came on the scene through a feature on Outkast’s Stankonia album, and from there released several mixtapes and solo albums, but none as widely recognized as his most recently released LP, Michael. Taking his time with this record, Michael marks Killer Mike’s first solo studio album in 11 years and it came at a time when hip-hop was thirsty for an album filled with substance, introspection, and personal reflection. Not only lyrically rich and compelling, the production on Michael is sonically lush, with arrangements from gospel choirs, pianos, and organs, and influences from soul, funk, southern blues, and of course, hip hop.

Recently winning three Grammys, Killer Mike took his highly acclaimed album on the road and has been touring in promotion of Michael, eventually finding himself in Vancouver on June 29th at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Joining Killer Mike on stage was the Midnight Revival, a vibrant five-person gospel choir that added an abundance of uplifting soul and reverence to Killer Mike’s songs, elevating the entire performance beyond our expectations and turning what we initially thought was a rap concert, into a visit to a church in the deep south.

Watching Killer Mike perform is professionalism personified. Not only does he embody an extreme amount of confidence, swagger, and breath control, but the way he captivates an audience in between songs should also be mentioned. Whether touching on serious topics such as sexual reproduction rights, political advocacy, or the loss of his mother and grandmother, he can quickly switch and flawlessly add levity by sharing humorous jokes about Atlanta subculture, or how he used to sell crack and a drug dealer bought him his first computer so he could learn how to make beats and record himself. All in all, Killer Mike’s voice draws the audience in and demands your undivided attention in rare and unique ways.

Closing out the night, Killer Mike let us know that what we experienced was so much more than just a concert. That this was a community gathering of like-minded people that can make a difference collectively in our neighbourhoods and the world at large. He then went directly to Los Angeles the next day where he won Best Album of the Year at the 2024 BET Awards delivering a powerful and poignant speech about being arrested at last year’s Grammys and the importance of voting locally. What a legend. Thank you, Killer Mike, you are appreciated.

Leave a Comment