Keith Murray – Verbal Aggression
Thursday November 08th 2007,
Filed under: Classic Ignorance,Interviews,Print Work,Steady Bootleggin',Video Clips
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Here’s what happens when I step outta my comfort zone. Although I usually drop the extended version here, this edit is a better read. From Vapors Magazine, Issue 44:

When he first stepped into the music game (originally under the moniker Keefy Keef for his 1992 debut single), Keith Murray got lyrical fiends open with his vocabulary-spill technique on Erick Sermon‘s “Hostile”. Fifteen years later, he’s eased-up on the big words a little, but hasn’t lost that hyperactive swagger that sets him apart from the comp. Keith’s also got a reputation for talking with his hands, whether snuffing fellow rappers (Prodigy from Mobb Deep), hitting teenagers with barstools, or (allegedly) choking Def Jam employees. Maybe that explains why he was a little cagey when I asked him about some of the content of the new record, Rap-Murr-Phobia (The Fear of Real Hip-Hop). Either that or the fact that he seemed to be nursing the mother of all hang-overs.

Robbie: I was listening to the album yesterday, you’ve got some good songs on there talking about you’re knuckle game, smacking dudes around. I like that shit.

Keith: Which one?

That song where you talk about warning people not to step to you, don’t mess around with LOD.

“Da Fuckery”? That’s to people that be lying, dealing with falsehood, trying to get over on people. Shit like that.

Is that a problem once you become known? People trying to test you when you’re out and about?

Nah, that ain’t an issue. It’s just battle rhymes. People love Keith Murray everywhere I go, they greet me with respect, I treat them with respect. It’s just mental aggression.

Do you feel a lotta dudes these days are sorta dumbin’ down their lyrics?

It’s about more R&B hip-hop these days than just hip-hop, so you’re not really gonna get all that lyrical. You’re just gonna get a good melody and a hook.

It must be a nice change of pace dealing with KOCH after dealing with Jive and Def Jam in the past?

Nah. Def Jam is a major, KOCH is an independent – so the money is less, the opportunities are less. I’ve been on a major, I’m used to major attention. I gotta learn to pace myself and equate the numbers and learn that you don’t get certain things that you get on a major. But it’s an opportunity for people to hear me and know that I can still do what I do best. KOCH competes with major labels but they don’t compete with major money. They compete with opportunity…a creative platform for the artist to be heard.

I enjoyed that “Hustle On” video when I saw that this morning.

Where you saw it at?

I caught it on the internet. I heard a version of “Who Shot Ya?” with Biggie Smalls that you did. Was that the original version?

Yeah. Where you heard that at?

That was on a mix CD.

Oh yeah? You got a copy of that? Send me a copy of that. Me and Biggie did that for Mary [J. Blige] album and Puffy just chopped it up. I used to hang out with Biggie Smalls.

Biggie Smalls feat. Keith Murray – “Who Shot Ya?” (original version)

Keith Murray – “Hustle On” video:

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25 Comments so far
Leave a comment

keith is still that dude and when u see him in public hes real cool and he’ll talk to u and everything…hes not on no superstar shit..he doesn’t feel like he needs 20 dudes to roll wit him so he feels safe…dude is for delf everytime time i see him in spots…people need to learn the difference between art and reality…

Comment by MERCILESZ 11.08.07 @

Wasn’t he in a real serious car crash awhile back, involing his promo van or some shit?
Glad to see him still wreckin’ and still hungover…
THE MOST BEAUTIFULLEST thang in the earl…
Yo hostile was nasty, but what about that Joe Sinister verse off that same album (Payback II), that shit was evil science. hey robbie you think you could track him down? I’d be interested were that dude went with his ill shit
remember?: My secret recipe put Pepsi on Diet’s, uh-huh
The funk dog as I come low to piss on hydrants
and howl at half moons and White Owls and mad tunes
Live quite fowl, leavin Lifestyles in bitches bathrooms
did he ever have any solo shit after that?
sorry to go off tangent, peace to keefy keef

Comment by Grand Invincible 11.08.07 @

joe sinister single on JMJ records or something? Maybe?

Comment by Grand Invincible 11.08.07 @

Keith Murray, Redman and Jamal did a concert in Waukegan IL back in the mid 90s. There hadn’t beena hip hop show of that caliber in town in a long time so it was a pretty big deal (all the shows go to chicago). I remember I was at work at Target the night before the show and on my walkie talkie I hear all sorts of security calls and I’m like “what the hell is going on”. I walk around and see this three dudes who are on some “new york shit” and then I’m like “whoa” that’s Redman. I had just interviewed early that year so I went up and spoke to him (and let security know they could chill out).

Anyway, ath the show the head security was on some serious b.s.. He was being over aggressive with how he was checking people coming the door, he was yelling at everybody and just trying to exert his “i’m in charge” attitude. I caught him a few time raising his voice to red, keith, and jamal. This went on all night so all those dudes were in bad moods. When they went on stage something went wrong in the front row, I couldn’t see cause I always play the back. Next thing I know Keith Murray drops his mic and swings his mic stand in to the crowd. That starts an all out riot. People are fighting everywhere. Girls are running and screaming. Police come spraying tear gas….it was a mess.

All I remember though is a point thru all the chaos seeing Redman sort of 1/2 way running and fighting his way thru a crowd of people from the police and I swear he is laughing and I’m like, “this dude is crazy”…ha.

We never had another rap concert in waukegan again (with any major artists) or least not for long time. That skating rink closed soon after from a ongoing series of fights.

Comment by kevin beacham 11.08.07 @

Wasn’t really feelin’ the new album, but dude is a legend in the game. Thanks for the “Who Shot Ya?” remix. Unkut stays winnin’

Comment by riyadh 11.08.07 @

@ Kevin: That’s so bugged because Red and Kieth were supposed to do a concert in Toronto at the old Varsity Arena downtown in the mid nineties too… As it went we were chilling backstage with Red and Kieth – we had brought the bomb weed for them so they was cool with us, next thing you know right before the show the promotor comes back on some BS and tells them he only has half the money up front and they will get the rest after the show – well Red and Kieth flipped, they went out on stage told the fans there owuld be no concert because the promotor was BS and then proceeded to insoght a riot – Red was trashing the lights and DJ equipment on stage, one of the promotors security guys tried to confront him – he was a pretty big dude too, and Red punched him right in the face with the mic! it was bananas… ANyway a riot broke out people were running everywhere and no concert happened… I left with some of my boys but I found out some of the dudes I know had found Redman and Kieth and they had taken them out for a night in the T-Dot – ofcourse they spent nuff cash on weed to keep them happy but it was worth it to hang with Redman and Murray for a nite… I miss those days…

Comment by Backtrack 11.08.07 @

Yo, Kev, where was I?

Comment by Fosterakahunter 11.08.07 @

I have always been a fan and I still like Keith, but the last album needed better beats, Robbie great work bro, I don’t suppose you have a copy of “Three’s Company” please?.

I find it crazy when artists when ask for copies of their own joints or remixes

Comment by Jaz 11.09.07 @

that’s a pretty random intervies. Keith is one of my alltime favorite rappers. Never like his albums much though.

Comment by bbatson 11.09.07 @

the only thing Joe Sinstr did after that ill verse on the Payback II was “Under The Sun” (prod Jam Master Jay (R.I.P.) in 94 on Terminator X’s -Terminator X And The Godfathers Of Threatt and the 12″

I always hoped that dude would drop an album.

Comment by Jaz 11.10.07 @

Keith Murray was robbed in South Africa a few months ago. He got jacked for his laptop. Last I heard he was offering a sizable reward for its return, due to his claim that there are YEARS of work stored on the hard drive.

I hope he was able to bounce back from that incident.

Comment by Nonchalant Misfit 11.10.07 @

I hung out a bunch on Long island one summer and it seemed like every rapper i met was biting KM’s style hard. Shows that he is a big influence still.

Comment by Mr. Holiday 11.11.07 @

That Joe Sinister tack of the Terminator album was one of my Favorite joints of 1994

Comment by Killer Keith 11.12.07 @

Keith was always weak to me, he seemed like a gimmick then, worse when I peep his new stuff, I feel nothing. I some of his stuff, but to me he’s really annoying and not impressive. E Double spits better than him…

Comment by EL CABRITO 11.12.07 @

too bad E-Double fell completely out of touch after his first solo album…

Comment by OG 11.13.07 @

not to get off topic but since tx’s album was mentioned-does anybody have the krunch time track melquane’s internal scheme was nothing shy of half man half amazon

Comment by GOD UNZIPPED 11.15.07 @

Melquan – “Krunchtime”

Comment by Robbie 11.16.07 @

nice rob you gotta hunt them TX Jeep Beets & Godfathers of Threatt cats down from both albums, those thangs were nice! With Jeff Foster and Wildman Steve drops and all that shit… Joe Sinistr, where you at?

Comment by Grand Invincible 11.16.07 @

damn Robbie thanks

Comment by GOD UNZIPPED 11.17.07 @

Nice Read. And I been fucking with this blog for a minute But Dam I been wanting that Who Shot Ya Remix for like the longest. And its hard to find but you just made my week, its a early birthday present (23rd of November).

Keep repping real fucking hip-hop…This post remind me of Mr.Magic and Mister C Best of Both World Mayhem & Marty Moore, Strech & bobbito days.

Comment by 2EC (2 Eyes 2 Cent) 11.19.07 @

what is the original name for the song copied by keith murray for hustle on? by the way thats a hot track.

Comment by collin 03.01.08 @

Joe Sinistr was ill…wat happened to that kid?

Comment by BIG MES 04.04.08 @

I heard a rumor that Joe Sinister was gay and the rap industry shunned him for it. Not joking. Really heard this rumor more than once.

Comment by gohyphy 08.12.08 @

Yo Keith is hip hop straight up…I got all the cdz and they stay in rotation..he keep doin him and we gonna keep on listenin!!..but I agree with homie that left the comment abour Joe Sinister..When we talk about back in the day his name always comes up…If you could find him that would be ill!!..Hip hop for ever man

Comment by AO HAMLIN 03.05.09 @

@ Nonchalant Misfit
Keith could be considered a complete idiot, if he truly lost years of work on his laptop he was travelling with. I’m sure it’s not the case, as you don’t carry around with you your only copies of tracks, unless he’s only worried about booters.
He doesn’t even have copies of a common track he did with Biggie, so what’s the deal-ee-oh?

Comment by freqazoid 05.27.10 @

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