Who Is The Rapper in Ozark Season 4? Killer Mike Explained

Ozark has always been one of the most popular shows that you can watch on Netflix, and you can see how well-written the scenes are and how natural the characters and the music in each of these scenes are. Of course, hip-hop music has been a staple in Ozark because of Ruth’s love for hip-hop music and because it has become quite symbolic in terms of Ruth’s character arc. Of course, because of the significance of hip-hop in Ruth’s character arc, a rapper significant to the show’s soundtrack made a cameo. So, who is the rapper in Ozark season 4?

The rapper in Ozark season 4 is Michael Santiago Render, who is known by his Stage Name of Killer Mike. He is a member of the hip-hop group called Run the Jewels. He appeared in season 4 of Ozark in a cameo scene where Ruth meets his real-life persona and then trades interpretations of Nas’ “NY State of Mind” song.

While this cameo appearance might not seem like it’s actually significant to the entire plot of the series, it is worth noting that a good part of Ruth’s arc focuses on her love of hip-hop and how it allowed her to heal from her personal problems. As such, Killer Mike’s appearance played a role in how she developed in season 4. That said, let’s look at what we know about Killer Mike’s cameo.

Who Is The Rapper In Season 4 Of Ozark?

Ozark is a very popular Netflix series because of how true it is to life and how dark its themes can be. Of course, the characters themselves have darker sides, especially when it comes to the Byrdes, who aren’t exactly the nicest main characters on the show. But one other character who became quite prominent in the entire plotline is Ruth, who is involved with the Byrde’s money-laundering scheme and was the one who raised her cousin, Wyatt.

Throughout the entire Ruth storyline of Ozark, it was made clear that she enjoyed hip-hop music because it served as some sort of an escape for her. Hip-hop is a significant part of Ruth’s life because she listens to it whenever she needs to escape from reality. Of course, the songs that she listens to also reflect her own storyline, and that’s why hip-hop music has always been a staple in Ozark.

In season 4 of Ozark, it was never a secret that Ruth has a storyline that is quite dark but is very personal to her. As mentioned, she was the one who raised her younger cousin named, Wyatt. However, after his marriage with Darlene, Wyatt was killed in cold blood by Javi, who wanted to kill Darlene. Wyatt was just there when Javi was about to kill Darlene but ultimately got killed himself just for good measure.

RELATED: Who Killed Wyatt on Ozark? (How & Why Explained)

Going back to Ruth, her character arc in season 4 is all about trying to avenge the death of her cousin in an attempt to obtain serendipity. Hip-hop music, of course, was there to help her get through the emotional mess she was in. That is where things went full circle for her as far as her love for hip-hop is concerned. 

In one of the scenes of season 4, Ruth was in a diner in Chicago while listening to Nas’ “NY State of Mind.” From there, she stumbled upon a face familiar to her and to anyone who is into hip-hop music. But who is the rapper in Ozark season 4?

This rapper that Ruth met in season 4 is Michael Santiago Render, who is also known by his stage name of Killer Mike. He is a member of the hip-hop group called Run the Jewels, whose music has been heavily used in Ozark due to the different scenes that the group’s music fits into. Of course, this goes back to Ruth’s love for hip-hop again.

Killer Mike isn’t a stranger to making appearances in movies and shows because he has actually produced and appeared in a few productions himself. Nevertheless, it still took him six takes to get the scene right, and he wasn’t afraid to admit that it took a while for him to make the scene perfect enough.

Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that Killer Mike is a fan of Ozark himself. This goes back to when he met Laura Linney, who plays Wendy Byrde in the series, years ago on a plane ride. The relationship began when they talked about Linney’s drama series, The Big C, which is a show that Mike’s wife was a big fan of. From then on, they became friends, as Killer Mike went on to follow Ozark due to his friendship with Linney and because of how interesting the show’s plotline is in terms of its realism and dark themes.

What Is The Significance Of Killer Mike’s Cameo In Ozark?

As mentioned, Killer Mike’s appearance in season 4 of Ozark came when Ruth was on a road trip in search of Javi because she wanted revenge for the death of Wyatt, who was an innocent victim of the hot-headed cartel leader’s temper. 

RELATED: Who Was Ben On Ozark & How Did He Die?

In that regard, Ruth set out on a quest to look for Javi so that she could take revenge on him, and a good part of her revenge plot involved listening to hip-hop music as a means of coping with the loss of her cousin and the emotions running through her.

While in search of Javi, Ruth finds herself in a restaurant in Chicago, where she accidentally stumbles upon the real-life version of Killer Mike. She told him that she was a big fan of his work and that she appreciated his music.

Killer Mike overheard Ruth’s music, “NY State of Mind,” through her headphones, and that was when they decided to trade interpretations of the music. Ruth told him that she thought that the song was basically saying that Nas both hates and misses Queensbridge, New York. Meanwhile, Mike gives her his own interpretation of the song, as this provides a brief yet very meaningful moment for Ruth.

“I just wanted it to be her stuck in a memory loop and something that was keeping her in a zone,” Chris Mundy, the screenwriter for Ozark, explained. “But, I wanted a way to speak about it without being super on the nose. I just wanted it to be a quick scene between two people who love music.”

To that end, the moment between Ruth and Killer Mike wasn’t only about them sharing their love for music but was also an experience that kept Ruth in the zone amidst all of the emotions rushing through her. It sort of gave her a moment of catharsis as she was still in the middle of her quest for revenge. 

In a way, Ruth’s meeting with Killer Mike also allowed her love affair with hip-hop to come full circle because hip-hop has always been a huge part of her personality throughout the entire series. And that scene with the rapper allowed her to have a moment wherein her love of music was sort of helping her out in its own way, as well as she was still in the middle of a very emotional moment in her life.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.