Michael Santiago Render makes grand moves in social change in MTV-style documentary series Trigger Warning with Killer Mike.
I don’t know much about Michael Santiago Render, aka rapper Killer Mike. However, you can imagine the type of person you are dealing with in his own Netflix documentary/reality series Trigger Warning with Killer Mike. He’s a larger-than-life man, with big ideas and enthusiasm, and is always thinking about the next project. Mind you, I am seeing a growing, recognizable trend that a number rich people have this contagious optimism, or maybe I am watching too many motivational videos, a hobby birthed from watching Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar acceptance speech immediately after a break-up.
With Trump America as volatile as ever, and the current administration either extending its lifespan or embarrassingly ending before they can build a wall, Trigger Warning with Killer Mike reveals a man that is destined to make social change his way. Each episode sees Killer Mike venturing out and initiating a project that makes people think, change or articulate a lesson we never really thought of doing ourselves. The Netflix series highlights a man that wants to go out there and do it, with a minor hint that he enjoys the publicity as an additional by-product of his efforts.
His enthusiasm bubbles even in the strangest of scenarios; in Episode 1 he decides that he must live buying black-related products for three days, raising eyebrows even to his white friends. He learns that the black dollar runs out quicker than any other dollar in the USA, and decides to venture out and live like a person who only relies on black products.
I admit to frowning at first; surely it cannot be that hard? But his obstacles were immediate; smartphones, cars and even his food in his fridge were not usable. Heck, at one point he went to a black-owned restaurant, and as he was about to gnaw into juicy-looking ribs and wings, the owner confesses he gets the food from a white farmer. Other episodes delve into the education system, white gang privilege, and even owning his own land while creating his own rules.
This sounds oddly off-topic, but Trigger Warning with Killer Mike got me profoundly thinking about our divided Western political landscape. I haven’t got one single friend that wholly trusts a politician, and I wonder now if we are going to instead subject ourselves to MTV Base-style experiments where famous creative people replace those who are meant to lead and change our lives. The Celebrity-in-Chief could have been the start – but does it mean anything? As I watched this documentary series, I had this fear that social change is eventually going to be boxed into a media product for passive viewers, rather than a reality for the majority.