A Killer Mike Crash Course

Killer Mike's Got Bars
Killer Mike's Got Bars

Tonight, one of Atlanta's favorite sons, Killer Mike, plays with Wu-Tang Clansman GZA at Irving Plaza. In many respects, this has been a banner year for Mike, whose El-P produced album R.A.P. Music has given him the most accolades of his career, as well as his work touring with the Into the Wild tour that's seen him bring his swaggering bulldozer of a stage show across the country. See Also: - Live: Killer Mike Rolls Hard At Brooklyn Bowl - Q&A: GZA On Wrestling, His Hip-Hop Beginnings, Chess Metaphors, And The Chances of a Wu-Tang Kung Fu Flick

While he's rightfully being praised for his recent work, it's easy to forget that, for over a decade, he's been responsible for some of the most memorable guest appearances and underground singles the rap world's heard. So, as a quick refresher course before tonight's concert, here's our timeline of how Killer Mike's been one of the greatest things hip-hop's had going.

Outkast feat. Killer Mike - "The Whole World" 2001 Mike's referred to his appearance on "The Whole World" as the verse that changed his life, and even today it holds up as one of the strongest debut appearances in the genre's history. Not many artists can boast winning a Grammy off the strength of their very first song, but when you consider Mike's mastery, flowing in a 6/8 time signature while successfully outshining BOTH members of Outkast, it's an instant star-maker.

Bone Crusher feat. T.I. & Killer Mike "Never Scared" 2003 Speaking of debuts, Killer Mike had another memorable cameo on Bone Crusher's monster first single "Never Scared." Also joined by T.I., who made his first Top-40 chart appearance on the track, the three artists perfectly set the brooding atmosphere with style-defining verses over a beat that accentuated their strengths perfectly.

Bubba Sparxxx feat. Killer Mike & Cool Breeze - "Claremont Lounge" 2005 At a time when the rift in Outkast was still a relatively new rumor, Big Boi assembled a supergroup, the Purple Ribbon All Stars, for two Got Purp? compilations. While most remembered for the "Kryptonite (I'm On It)" single, the second installment gave us the "Claremont Lounge" collaboration between Mike, Bubba Sparxxx and first-generation Dungeon Family member Cool Breeze. Produced by Organized Noise, the track captures all three artists' very different but equally captivating knacks for storytelling through conveying the environment of one of Atlanta's most notorious clubs.

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