Filed under: Classic Ignorance,Interviews,Print Work,Steady Bootleggin',Video Clips
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
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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