55. Michael Render (aka Killer Mike)

Killer Mike
Photograph by Troy Stains

Focus Music, Activism
Age 40
Since hitting the hip-hop scene in 2000 as a regular Outkast contributor, Render has put out five studio albums and become an outspoken proponent of criminal justice and prison reform. As part of the national debate over race relations, Render has appeared on CNN and HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, and has guest-lectured at MIT—speaking out on #BlackLivesMatter, media stereotypes against African American males, and police brutality.

Aborted run This summer Render attempted a last-minute bid for the state legislature, which foundered when he failed to register as an official write-in candidate.

Back to Atlanta’s 55 Most Powerful

This article originally appeared in our October 2015 issue.