Rapper Killer Mike arrested at Grammys over ‘altercation’ after 3 wins


The Atlanta-based rapper and activist Killer Mike was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge at the Grammy Awards ceremony Sunday night, a stunning turn to one of the most fruitful evenings of his career, after he took to the stage three times to collect trophies for best rap song, best rap performance and best rap album.

Video footage appeared to show Killer Mike, 48, whose real name is Michael Santiago Render, handcuffed and escorted by police officers through a hallway in the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. In the video, he is heard saying, “Are you serious?” as he is taken farther out of view.

Render was arrested just after 4 p.m. following a “physical altercation” on the 700 block of Chick Hearn Court, near the arena, Los Angeles police wrote on social media late Sunday. He was taken to the LAPD Central Division and was in the process of being released, they added. The details of the alleged altercation remain unclear. Police and representatives for Render did not immediately respond to requests for comment Sunday night.

Earlier in the evening, Render gave a short speech when he won best rap album for “Michael,” emphatically telling the audience that his dreams had come true. “You cannot tell me that you get too old, you can’t tell me it’s too late. You can’t tell me,” he said. “Dreams come true — it is a sweep.”

The album, released in June, was jampacked with guest artists such as Andre 3000, Young Thug and Ty Dolla $ign.

The triple-Grammy win Sunday marked a significant milestone for the rapper, who performs as a solo artist and as half of the duo Run The Jewels.

Female artists dominated the 66th Grammy Awards on Feb. 4, with a record-breaking album of the year win by Taylor Swift. (Video: Julie Yoon/The Washington Post)

Render last won a Grammy in 2003, when he took home the award for best rap performance by a duo or a group with “The Whole World.” His musical debut occurred in 2000, when he was featured on Outkast’s album “Stankonia.”

“For 20 years, I’ve been saying I can do it, I can do it, I can do it. … And here I am, doing it,” Render said to reporters backstage at the Grammys, holding his three trophies.

“At 20 years old, I thought it was cool to be a drug dealer,” he later added. “At 40 years old, I started to live with the regrets of the things I’ve done. At 45 years old, I started to rap about it. At 48 years old, I stand here, a man full of empathy and sympathy for the things I’ve done, honest in my interpretations and where I’ve been, and it connected with thousands of other people.”

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A fierce advocate of the Atlanta rap scene, Render is also known as an activist who has repeatedly spoken out against inequity for Black Americans. He has written op-eds, given college lectures and used his songs to communicate his views on social and political issues, condemning the police killings of Mike Brown and Eric Garner and describing hard discussions with his father, a police officer.

Render has also spoken out against the use of violent lyrics as evidence against rappers who are accused of crimes, arguing that doing so endangers the arts and free speech.

His social media accounts remained active following his arrest Sunday, retweeting congratulatory messages from fans.





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