With everything that’s gone on in 2020, numerous outlets have made efforts to recognize and amplify the individuals who have been working for social justice. The latest entity to pursue this goal is the Billboard Music Awards, instituting the first-ever Billboard Change Maker Award for the upcoming 2020 BBMAs and announcing its inaugural recipient: Killer Mike. The award will be presented during the show by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, with whom Mike has worked over the past year.
Even before Mike was active in politics, meeting with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in September and working with Mayor Bottoms on her transition team in 2018, he was outspoken about the need for social change — even when he occasionally put his foot in his mouth. Both in his solo output and as a member of Run The Jewels, Mike has been a loud critic of the American government, the criminal justice system, and Wall Street, while he’s also shown a willingness to work within the system to prompt change as well. In 2019, he filed a legal brief in a Supreme Court case about rap lyrics, stumped for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and helped him educate voters, and passed out meals in Atlanta during quarantine.
Mike’s being honored with the Change Maker Award specifically for using “his platform to educate, inspire, and motivate an entire generation to become the change they want to see.”
The 2020 Billboard Music Awards air Wednesday, October 14 at 8 pm/7 pm CT on NBC.