Killer Mike is back with a bang, and he’s brought some friends along for the ride. “Don’t Let the Devil” featuring EL-P & thankugoodsir is the first taste of his upcoming solo effort entitled MICHAEL, and it’s truly a treat. Produced by No I.D., EL-P, and Little Shalimar, the track features a loop of soul that’s the perfect backdrop for the Atlanta emcee and his guests to trade verses on.
The record is an assertion of commitment from Mike, who has been relatively quiet on the solo front since 2012’s R.A.P. Music. With his new album, he aims to tell the story of his true identity as Michael Render, the man behind the music. This track, featuring his Run the Jewels partner in crime EL-P and thankugoodsir, is a perfect introduction to what’s to come.
Killer Mike has always been a remarkable wordsmith, and “Don’t Let the Devil” is no exception. His deliveries are impeccable, weaving in and out of the production with ease. EL-P is also his best self, delivering an expectedly solid and intricate verse that shows why he’s one of the best spitters in the game. Thankugoodsir brings a different more laid-back energy with a flow that complements his collaborators’ styles wonderfully. The production on the track is top-notch with a vibe that’s expressive and melancholic. The loop is simple but valuable as brief alterations that draw you in throughout the song’s three and a half minutes.
Overall, “Don’t Let the Devil” is a fantastic track that bodes extremely well for Killer Mike’s upcoming project. It’s a stage for his skills to be highlighted and his chemistry with his Run the Jewels partner EL-P is as strong as ever. Thanukugoodsir is a welcome addition to the mix, too, and it’ll be interesting to see how he fits into the rest of the album. With that being said, this record is just the start of what promises to be a great year for the iconic and barrier-breaking Atlanta legend.