Rapper Killer Mike developed a successful career in the music industry, turned down lucrative deals with record labels to go independent, and launched businesses and invested in properties throughout Atlanta.
But despite his bold professional moves, Killer Mike, whose real name is Michael Render, says his best business decision was marrying his wife, Shana. The two married in 2006, and he says she's been his "fight coach" and the "CEO of the family" ever since.
"The fact that my wife has stood by me through thick and thin, through short and tall, it further ingrains [in] me: This is the person I'm supposed to be with," he says.
The couple, who have four children, buy and invest in properties together and own Atlanta barbershop Graffiti's SWAG Shop, which has two locations.
Render says his wife supported the family for two years while he struggled with his rap career after turning down a record deal with a major label and going independent.
"I went broke, I failed," he tells CNBC Make It. "My wife was the only person who believed in me and wouldn't let me give up on myself." That support motivated Render to revitalize his rap career, eventually achieving success with multiple solo albums and forming rap duo Run the Jewels in 2013 with New York City rapper El-P.
The rapper isn't the only person who knows the value of finding a partner. Billionaire Warren Buffett, who Render says has informed his own outlook on personal finance, has emphasized the importance of marrying someone who complements your business drive.
"You want to associate with people who are the kind of person you'd like to be. You'll move in that direction," Buffett said at Columbia University in 2017. "The most important person by far in that respect is your spouse. I can't overemphasize how important that is."
Killer Mike says what while he's still surprised by his success and seeing his picture on billboards promoting his new Netflix series, "Trigger Warning," his wife tells him, "I always knew you'd be up there."
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