Exclusive: On the eve of Murs' final "Through The Mic" showcase at LACMA, he talks about fan reactions and his decision to kiss a man in the "Animal Style" video.
It’s been a busy year for Murs. In addition to the usual output of albums and his duties at Paid Dues, he’s been a co-curator of the “Through The Mic” series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He’s also been in a collaborative spirit dropping joint albums with Fashawn and 9th Wonder to name just a few.
Thursday, October 18 marks the final “Through The Mic” showcase. Gaslamp Killer, Vince Staples & Michael Uzowuru, Problem, Luckyiam, and J*Davey are all scheduled to perform. More details on “Through The Mic,” tickets and parking information are available via the official LACMA website. The finale kicks off Thursday at 7:00 pm behind the Urban Lights installation as usual. But how does the event’s co-curator feel about what may be Los Angeles’ best kept secret?
“I think more people are finding out about it,” Murs offered during September’s showcase, which featured Blu, Exile, Madlib, Freddie Gibbs and Nocando. “On a Thursday last month, I announced that [this showcase] would be free. We didn’t know who would be performing, so we just announced it. And on the following Monday, 500 people signed up so we had to stop it—just in case the fans of the artists that we had yet to announce wanted to get some tickets. So it’s been great. No disrespect to anyone that’s performed so far, but now I just think people are into the event. They’re coming for ‘Through The Mic,’ and it doesn’t matter who’s on the bill. It’s just a good time.”
During any given Thursday, fans were likely to see Fashawn, Co$$, Medusa and more. Bonus points for all those that caught Houseshoes vibing out to Madlib’s extended Dilla set. As Murs pointed out, access to the entire museum, the food and drinks available via the swanky, adjacent Ray’s Stark Bar and the always agreeable Los Angeles weather don’t hurt either.
Sometime in between his multiple album releases, Paid Dues and duties with LACMA, Murs made time for what may have been 2012’s most controversial video.
“To be direct, we’re talking about me kissing a man [on camera] right?” Murs asked in response to a statement regarding his “Animal Style” video. “We’re talking me being married to a woman, but taking a stand for same sex marriage and equality for all human beings?”
Yes, we’re talking about that…in a roundabout sort of way. With the critical and commercial success of Frank Ocean—and his decision to write an open letter regarding his sexuality after UK scribe Max Akhtar was one of the first to point out some of his songs referenced a “him”—Hip Hop has been forced to confront a long history of homophobia this year.
“It feels really good to be making a difference…to be making an impact for something other than rapping dope,” Murs added. “For being respected both as a storyteller and somewhat as an activist—I feel like I could still do more—but I’m glad to have a positive light focused on Rap music in general. I’m happy to strive for what I feel is right and take a stand for it.”
Murs and 9th Wonder will drop, their fifth collaborative album, The Final Adventure on November 13. In the meantime, you can cop his joint album with Fashawn—This Generation—via select retailers and digital outlets everywhere…the same applies to his solo album Love And Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation.