And I believe God has sustained me with rap
So I pick a burning bush, put it in a Swisher wrap
Untitled by Killer Mike (Ft. Scar)

Mike compares the Biblical burning bush

to another kind of plant that he frequently sets aflame:

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The Lord'll take a monster and fashion him a saint
I present you Malcolm X for those who saying that He can't
Untitled by Killer Mike (Ft. Scar)

Malcolm X’s road from criminal and drug addict to political leader is well-documented, including in his own autobiography. X’s presence in this lyric is also a callback to the idea of someone’s words gaining importance when they die tragically, as he did

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The Lord give a load, you got to carry it like Mary did
That's why I'm giving honor to all these baby mommas
It takes a woman's womb to make a Christ or Dalai Lama
Untitled by Killer Mike (Ft. Scar)

Mike mentions Jesus' mom here for several reasons. First, to compare her burden of carrying a child while poor and on the run (and married to someone other than the father) to the struggles of the widows of civil rights martyrs

Second, he uses it as a bridge to talk about the important of motherhood generally, and to set up the idea of what the world can do to an innocent child, which he talks about in the lines below

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My sister say it's necessary on some Cleopatra shit Untitled by Killer Mike (Ft. Scar)

The Egyptian pharoah Cleopatra VII Philopater had affairs with or married a succession of men for the purpose of political alliances, including Julius Ceasar and Mark Antony

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Or will she Jackie O, drop the Kennedy, remarry it? Untitled by Killer Mike (Ft. Scar)

Five years after the death of her husband, the then-Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. The marriage came after the death of Robert Kennedy, when Jackie feared for the lives of her children. Wedding the wealthy Onassis gave her the means to provide privacy and security for them

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Will my woman be Coretta, take my name and cherish it? Untitled by Killer Mike (Ft. Scar)

MLK’s widow, Coretta Scott King, took on a leadership role in the civil rights movement after her husband’s death. She also took on causes such as women’s rights, LGBT issues, and world peace. Below, her and her husband in 1964:

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April 4th, 2013

Coretta King never remarried. Even after Dr King’s death she continued her life as his wife, unlike Jackie Kennedy. Mike is saying he’s selfish, he wants his woman to stay true after he dies.

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Will I die slain like my king by a terrorist? Untitled by Killer Mike (Ft. Scar)

The comparison to MLK is Mike’s first hint as to the song’s theme. He explained that this song is his “most personal record” and that, as Prefix Mag put it, “it deals with his own thoughts and paranoia about if his words would gain importance if he was murdered”

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Keep it true, keep it real
Better said, I keep it trill
Untitled by Killer Mike (Ft. Scar)

“Trill” is the UGK-popularized slang term that is often thought to be a portmanteau of the words “true” and “real.” Here, Mike seems to back that theory.

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Why? Cause I'm country-bred
Actually, I'm south-er-ern
Something like my brethren
The legendary Andre 3K, Cee Lo, Goodie, and some other men
Untitled by Killer Mike (Ft. Scar)

Killer Mike, an Atlanta native, stands up for his ATL kinfolk here, shouting out Outkast’s Andre 3000 as well as Cee Lo Green and his fellow Goodie Mob members. All, including Mike, are members of the Dungeon Family collective

Also a reference to this line from “West Savannah” by Outkast

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This is Basquiat with a passion like Pac
In a body like Biggie, telling stories like Ricky
Untitled by Killer Mike (Ft. Scar)

Mike saves perhaps the best comparison for last here:

— The artistry and innovation of hip-hop’s favorite artist, 1980’s graffiti writer and painter Jean-Michel Basquiat

— The thug passion of Tupac Shakur

— The body of Biggie Smalls (fair enough — both are larger gentlemen)

— The storytelling ability of the unchallenged master of the art, Slick Rick

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Hands of Zeus
July 19th, 2013

He is also referring to the movie ‘story of ricky’, an ultraviolet kung-fu flick.

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