Michael Santiago Render, who is better known to fans as Run the Jewels’ frontman Killer Mike, released a public service announcement to encourage young people to take the threat of the deadly coronavirus seriously, according to Atlanta’s WSB-TV.
Atlanta’s hometown rap artist and activist partnered up with DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond to launch an advertising campaign that urges people to slow the spread of COVID-19. Last month, Killer Mike was adamantly opposed to the reopening of certain businesses that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp had allowed to reopen after a stay-at-home directive. He had stated at the time that he would not reopen his barbershop when the restrictions were lifted.
After viewing several videos of young people gathering in large groups, not social distancing while going out to buy sneakers and hanging out at clubs, he and Thurmond decided to launch an ad campaign aimed at stopping the potential spread of COVID-19.
The promotional campaign will target young African Americans on the radio, in print ads, and on billboards.
“We totally missed the boat in Georgia,” Thurman said. “That’s one of the things that I think is hurting our response. We’ve not tailored messages or recruited messengers that speak directly to populations that’s most impacted.”
Thurmond also said many black families live in multi-generational homes. He worries that young people who may be asymptomatic could actually bring the virus home to other, more vulnerable members of their family.
“Twenty, 30, 40-year-old adults, taking care of yourself is the highest priority. But not only just because of you, it’s because you’re going to expose yourself to people you love.” Killer Mike said.
The message is clear in this one commercial spot: “Don’t worry about the bigwigs in Washington and what they say. Let’s follow our local CEO. Let’s stay out of them streets. Take it from Mike and Mike. Stay home if you can. Mask up, if you can’t.” says Killer Mike in the commercial.