US rapper Killer Mike has dismissed his detention at the Grammy Awards ceremony as “a speed bump” on a night in which he swept three major rap categories.
The Los Angeles police department said he had been taken into custody concerning a physical altercation inside the event venue on Sunday.
The 48-year-old, real name Michael Render, was booked on a misdemeanour battery charge, police added.
He was later released and is scheduled to appear in court later this month.
“We hit a speed bump and then we head back to the party, man,” the rapper told an Atlanta-based radio show in his first comments after his release.
“We partied all night. Ain’t nothing had happened, man. But we winners. That’s it,” he said as the show’s host pressed him for details on Monday morning.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the rapper blamed “overzealous security” for the incident that led to his detention.
Video from the scene appeared to show the Run the Jewels rapper being escorted by police officers out of the Crypto.com arena in downtown Los Angeles.
Eyewitnesses at the arena reportedly heard someone shouting “free Mike” as he was led away.
The arrest took place shortly before the prime-time Grammys broadcast began.
Before the televised portion of the event, the outspoken rapper and political activist swept all three awards for which he had been nominated.
His song Scientists & Engineers, featuring André 3000, Future and Eryn Allen Kane, won awards for best rap song and best rap performance. beating out top stars like Drake and Nicki Minaj.
He also won a third award for best rap album with his album Michael.
“You cannot tell me that you get too old, you can’t tell me it’s too late, you can’t tell me dream don’t come true!” he said as he picked up his third Grammy of the night.
“It is a sweep! It is a sweep! It is a sweep!”
Though he won a Grammy in 2003 for a song he made with Outkast, Sunday’s awards were Killer Mike’s first as a solo artist.
The Georgia native has been vocal about issues facing black Americans, including police brutality and systemic racism.
He was a highly visible supporter of Bernie Sanders’ two campaigns for president in 2016 and 2020. Last week, he declined to endorse Joe Biden for re-election on the Real Time with Bill Maher Show.
The Grammy Awards were dominated by Taylor Swift, who made history with a fourth win for best album.