Keith Murray: Return Of The Beautifullest Vocabulist (Pt 2)

posted June 26, 2007 12:00:00 AM CDT | 18 comments

HHDX: Why has it taken 4 years to get from released from Def Jam to getting a release out thru Koch?
Keith Murray
: Well Def Jam released me in 1 day.

HHDX: Yeah thats what I mean, its been almost 4 years to the day.
Keith Murray
: So I was like this, I went home [and] said, You know what, let me just regroup, get a grip, come equipped. I sat down with Erick [and] we talked about the record. We came from the high hat to the snare to the kick to the bass line to the word to the sentence to the paragraph everything was built from scratch. It didnt take 4 years [to record the album], but 4 years had elapsed. I didnt even realize it was 4 years to tell you the truth. It dont feel like it to me. It just feel like we was working on the record and boom. But plus, I had to wait for 4th quarter to go by last year, and stuff like that. So, I dunno, its a feel. When we do records its about feeling. It aint, Yo, I gotta hurry up and put this record out.

HHDX: Well its just I was listening to Lil Waynes new song, La La La, and its the same sample that you flipped on Ima Smoka.
Keith Murray
: The same exact sample!

HHDX: Yeah, so now its gonna look like youre following him.
Keith Murray
: That aint on my album. I got a whole rearranged new [tracklisting].

HHDX: While were speaking on tracks from your album, theres a new Def Squad joint on there called Nobody, so are we gonna get a follow-up to the first DS album, El Nino, in time for the 10-year anniversary of its release next year?
Keith Murray: Yeah, we gon come out with that on the 10-year anniversary. Its called Tsunami. We recording now. Erick is giving us the beats.

HHDX: You got any other projects youre working on for 07/08, besides your album and the Def Squad album?
Keith Murray
: I got the L.O.D. project coming out, Nowhere To Run Nowhere To Hide. They finally gon come out.

HHDX: That only took 15 years.
Keith Murray
: Yeah, but you know L.O.D. is really a street gang, not rappers. When I was rappin none of em was rappin. They didnt even really fuck with rap, we just was in the streets. And then some of em adapted. And you know between death and jail, and all types of setbacks, the shit just never came out. But its coming out like 6, 7 months from now.

HHDX: Any guest appearances you got lined up, maybe on a new EPMD album?
Keith Murray
: Oh yeah, Im definitely on the new EPMD album. And Im on that Redman album that just dropped, Walk In Gutta. What you know about Pinot Gregio and roasted duck/With a mean street team outside posted up/Toasted up, ready to roast a duck/When I say street team, I dont mean niggas that put posters up/Let's be blatant, you achin and ancient/We capered in your hood with dirty machetes and bloody aprons.

HHDX: This generation is not ready for that.
Keith Murray
: They aint?

HHDX: Youre speaking in tongues to anyone under 21.
Keith Murray
: I am? Why?

HHDX: This flood of nonsense over the past couple years I think has just turned everybody into zombies.
Keith Murray
: Yeah, but thats cool because I enjoy the challenge. Im approaching this thing as a new artist, so Im covering all my grounds. I go to high schools. I go to the clubs. I be on myspace. Im in the streets, walking down the block talking to people. And they all seem to have a real good perception of Keith Murray.

Im here to give my core audience what they want and what they need from me, which is the true essence of hip-hop - conceptual albums, not just one single. Rapp-Murr-Phobia is the fear of real hip-hop. Hip-hop is taking a real beating right now. You got Al Sharpton running wild. Man, fuck all that shit! Lets get back to the essence of this shit. This is for those who love it, want it and understand it. Im not trying to beg to be accepted by muthafuckas who dont know what this is.

On Koch I have a goal to reach with a certain amount of numbers, which will set me up way better than if I was on a major. Or I coulda just got the advance [from a major label] and went out and got the show money, and they woulda put me in red tape from the record sales. So me and Erick made the album. Now we get the backing and we go out and do the shows. And Ill walk this muthafucka city by city barefooted with my muthafuckin CD in my backpack if I have to, to let these muthafuckas know Im out.

Cause all Im hearing now is, Oh, I didnt know this was out. I didnt know Redman was out. Like, what the fuck is going on?

HHDX: Especially with the Internet, yeah, it doesnt make any sense.
Keith Murray
: Doesnt make any sense. I figure yo, Koch wanna make money. We aint friends and we aint buddies. You wanna make money with me, I wanna make money. You do your part, Ill do my part. What more can I do but deliver a dope album?

HHDX: Well thats good to hear that youre prepared for the road work, because I know Redman, the last Soundscan report I saw I think he ended up a little over a 100,000
Keith Murray
: Yeah, last week he hit 107,000. But hes out [on the road] all the time. I dont get it! Hes everywhere. Why aint they picking that album up? The label. And then they look back at the artist like its the artists [fault]. The label is the one that distributes and promotes the music to the people.

HHDX: So if you dont get to that 100K are you gonna keep working thru this situation youre in, or you think youre gonna just go and do something completely off on your own?
Keith Murray
: Im sayin, I got the #2 most added record in the country. Tyrese just did the video. They just added the rough mix to BET. How cant I reach my goal? I mean, Im not trying to compete with Redman cause he did a 107,000 should I reach a 107,000. But I know where my money lies. I know how much I get off a record, and how many records I gotta sell to get a certain amount.

Shit, over here a 100,000 is successful I got minimal goals, modest goals, nothing unrealistic. I know Im dealing with an indie that runs like a major, not a major. So every dollar counts and you gotta be smart.

HHDX: Im just curious, as a fan, that there are going to be more Keith Murray albums though, because the way things are looking now it seems like theres so little motivation to put out an album.
Keith Murray
: Im picking my new beats right now. Ill walk down the street. Ill be on the Internet. Ill do it for those that be like, "Yo Murray, when you coming?" All that trying to go please these middle-class American muthafuckas, that shit dont matter. You be chasing a muthafuckin dream doing that shit.

HHDX: One last question, as a lifelong fan I just gotta know if this ever really took place. I know your uncle used to bodyguard for Big Daddy Kane, but did you really defeat the legendary BDK in battle?
Keith Murray
: No, I didnt defeat him. I exchanged flows wit him. And later on we became good friends. I just was in England with Big Daddy Kane. He brought me out, cause I was performing with EPMD a day after but I went to the show. He brought me out [and the audience] lost they minds! Go on YouTube and look at it, lost they minds! Yo, this shit is alive, man. So anybody who dont think that its real hip-hop heads out there waiting, they sadly mistaken.

But now Im telling them, Yo, yall gotta go support us. Dont just get on the bandwagon and overlook the shit. But I got things on my album they really, really gonna love. This is an album me and Erick made, like Enigma, like Most Beautifullest. Those two albums, we made those with no outside influence. We went in the basement, banged our heads on the wall, and came out to the world and said, "Look!" And this is the reaction Im getting now I didnt answer a question properly [before] about why it took so long [for the album to drop]. Like, when I had left Def Jam I knew I was dope. I knew I could make another hit record, a dope nother album. But it was like, why would I wanna go to another label for them to look me in my face and tell me bullshit? E was like, Go independent. I was like, Lets just make the album first and then go. So we didnt even go to a major. The only record label I woulda went to is G-Unit.

HHDX: Word? Why them?
Keith Murray
: Cause niggas say Murray youll go Gold with G-Unit/But because you smacked P, 50 might not do it.

HHDX: Is that on the album?
Keith Murray
: Nah. Erick wouldnt let me put that on there.

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