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Killer Mike Talks Breaking Ground On Westside’s Bankhead Seafood, 2020 Elections, Gentrification

"Morning Edition" host Lisa Rayam talks to Atlanta rapper and activist Killer Mike outside his old high school, Frederick Douglass, on Thursday.
"Morning Edition" host Lisa Rayam talks to Atlanta rapper and activist Killer Mike outside his old high school, Frederick Douglass, on Thursday.
Credit Lily Oppenheimer / WABE

Last updated March 2, 2020 at 1:41 p.m.

Raised on Atlanta’s Westside, rapper and activist Killer Mike has watched big businesses move in and attempt to put a different face on the community.

“It’s a bad thing for those who are in the community as a legacy resident to lose control. It’s bad for corporations to come unasked and simply enforce their rule. But nothing is wrong with ‘re-entrifying’ your community,” Killer Mike said, also known as Michael Render.

“The kids that are graduating out of this school system should be owning land in Atlanta.”

Now he hopes a long-anticipated plan with fellow rapper Clifford Joseph “Tip” Harris Jr., or T.I., will inspire local kids to graduate and take control of their own businesses on the Westside.

Along with developer Noel Khali, the rappers are investing in bringing back the longtime community staple restaurant, Bankhead Seafood.

https://twitter.com/LilyOppenheimer/status/1233387173472296960

Bankhead Seafood was owned and operated by Helen Brown Harden for almost 50 years before closing its doors in 2018.

Bankhead Seafood
Bankhead Seafood was located on 1651 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy. (Catherine Alston/WABE)

Prior to breaking ground on the original Bankhead location this summer, the group will launch a Bankhead food truck in the coming months.

Killer Mike met up with “Morning Edition” host Lisa Rayam outside Frederick Douglass High School, where he and T.I. attended and graduated.

During his interview with Rayam, he talked about his business ventures and prominent figures within the community.

“I had Herman Russell as a leader who lived in my community,” Killer Mike said 1 minute and 40 seconds into the interview.

Related: ATL PBA tells the story of Herman Russell in an exclusive documentary “Building Atlanta: The Story of Herman J. Russell >>

He said he hopes to use the food truck launch as a teaching tool.

“The westside is the example of what black leadership can look like,” Killer Mike said. “That is the legacy we’re gonna help continue.”