• 26May


    Few get it in like Murs.

    Since releasing his first LP as part of 3 Melancholy Gypsies in 1993, the Los Angeles lyricist has released 13 EPs, 14 collaborative projects and 7 solo album. He’s worked extensively with 9th Wonder, Slug (from Atmosphere), and teamed up with numerous Hip Hop notables. Between his impressive amount of studio work and extensive touring schedule, Murs somehow found the time to partner with Guerrilla Union to pioneer his own independent music showcase, the Paid Dues Festival.

    Needless to say, homie stays busy.

    BrooklynBodega.com caught up with Murs following his performance at Highline Ballroom, and chopped it up about performing in New York City, working with 9th Wonder and Malcolm X’s influence on his music.

    On rocking in New York City: “I definitely went through a phase of where I loved it, hated it, loved, loved, loved, hated, loved New York. It’s the exact opposite of LA. I’m so LA it’s hard not to hate [New York] sometimes. But I’m back to loving it. It’s the people you’re around. It’s the same thing with LA. People say LA is fake. It’s who you are with. So I fell into a circle of muthafuckas who wasn’t too tight for a second, and I wasn’t loving New York. Now I’m loving New York. I’m with the right people, having a great time — as I should be — in one of the greatest cities on Earth.

    When I first came out here I was nervous because this is the birth place of Hip Hop. You have to come with respect. And I’d come to rock it, [but then] I felt like I [would overdo] it. So I decided to chill out and do me and the people were much more accepting of that…But then also, it depends on the night, man. Some nights you get the muthafuckas that are too cool but afterwards they’re like ‘Yo, you killed it, son!’ and I’m like ‘Muthafucka, you were ice grilling me the whole time!’ But that’s New York, though. That’s just how it [is].

    On working with 9th Wonder extensively and the differences with collaborating again on Fornever:“We recorded this one in LA, so it’s a lot more LA stuff, it’s a lot more LA vibe. When I say that, I’m not like ‘Westside’ or ‘Westcoast’. It’s just like the LA that you love…when I first started coming here, people were like ‘Oh, MC Eiht, DJ Quick’. They loved it because we were doing us. MC Eiht is an Emcee. DJ Quick can rap. Then we got into this whole other shit. Like, New York kind of stopped respecting us, and I feel you because I kind of stopped respecting us. So it’s more LA records. Everything — whether you’re from Brooklyn or Atlanta — what you loved about LA is [in] this album. 9th is from North Carolina and he brought Kurupt because he loves Kurupt…So I think we combined the West Coast with the traditional — if you’d have to say — East Coast flavor into what you’re going to experience…

    On other artists he would like to work with in the future: “I used to say…Dre, I’ll take it. Cube, I’ll take it. But for me it was all about working with E-40. I got to work with E-40 and John Cena [on the "Hustler" Remix] so I’m done, man. I was done after that. I went to E-40′s house. He treated me great, like family, home cooked meals and shit. That’s my favorite rapper. I have Ice Cube on my festival, Paid Dues, this year. I’m pretty much done. I’m done with being starstruck by people. I would like to work with Tabi Bonney. I would love to work with him. Fergie — I love Fergie. I already worked with Will.i.Am, that’s my peoples. Jay Electronica — I would love to do something. [He's] a great guy, nice dude. I think it will happen eventually. It hasn’t happened yet.

    On Malcolm X’s influence on his music: “A lot of conscious rappers will do strictly conscious. The book he wrote…doesn’t leave out his negative years. He didn’t start like ‘I found the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and that’s my life’. He took you through the negative shit. So I’ll talk about [the negatives in my music]…yeah I’ve fucked porn stars, I’ve fucked strippers, I’ve fucked prostitutes. [I've never] paid, but I’ve fucked girls that were prostitutes. I’ve smoked. I’ve drank. I’ve done everything you’ve done and now I’ve found this new way of living. I’m married, but you can’t share the light without the dark…Some of these conscious rappers, they like to drink. They like pepperoni pizza. I see them. They like white bitches. I see them. They chase p*ssy and everything, too….There’s a middle ground. There are regular muthafuckas that live everyday and love.

    On his desire to rock the 2010 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival: “I need to be at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, muthafucks. I eat at Red Bamboo. I kick it in Clinton Hill. I know what’s going on in the streets. I need to be on the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. I heard ya’ll got De La Soul. I know them. It’s all good. Duckdown — I know Dru Ha. I know Sean Price. I these things, man. My DJ’s a big fan of Sean Price. We had a room backstage at Coachella [Music and Arts Festival] and our trailer was right next to Sean [Price], and he ran into Sean [Price] shit, took his vodka and yelled, “P!” Scared the shit out of him. We love Brooklyn. Let us get down.

    Murs & 9th Wonder’s Fornever on sale now.

Discussion 4 Responses

  1. May 30, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Great interview Run! Murs has been a favorite of mine for a few years now, ever since I hears him and 9th’s “Murray’s Revenge”. He seems like a really down to earth person that isn’t afraid to be himself and we really need more of that in hip hop and music period. Nice job again!

  2. June 3, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Respect to Murs, but I think some of today’s backpack/conscious rap guys go overboard in stressing their “regular dude” credibility… Does he really have to go out of his way to tell us about banging porn actresses, strippers and call girls (but of course, he never paid, that would be gay, right?)..

    Going back to the Golden Era, most political/conscious rappers had a certain image, whether intended or not, that they were nothing but 100% disciplined in their behavior, ala Chuck D, KRS, Brother J or even Rakim. The image was, most were teetotalers, didn’t get high, didn’t chase women.. and of course, the super-cynical heads would have their reactionary comments that these guys were too pro-black for their own good, preachy, thrill-killers, possibly gay..

    Fast forward to the past 15 years, and today’s alternative-rappers (Common, Kanye, Wale, Mos Def, etc.) were influenced not just by run dmc, PE, KRS, de la, but also Too Short, Ice T, geto boys, Death Row, Suave House, etc.

    I think a lot of these current guys are frustrated at not selling huge, but they don’t want to succumb to the stereotype of political/conscious rappers so they go out of their way to prove to the audience that they’re just into buck-wildin’, personally reckless behavior…..

  3. August 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    [...] Rakim and Slick Rick shutdown Rock The Bells’ Main Stage and Murs & 9th Wonder, Immortal Technique, Whiz Khalifa, Brother Ali, Big Sean and Yelawolf all [...]