West Coast performer, Murs, is a different breed of rapper. Unsatisfied with the status quo, while pushing for positive progression, Murs shines above the popular glitz and glamour rap music of today. Collaborating with his contemporaries like Slug (of Atmosphere), Fashawn, and 9th Wonder, Murs is an alternative hip-hop hero. With a nod to Indianapolis rap, Murs mentioned that his DJ, Foundation, is an Indianapolis native.
NUVO: Your music is multifaceted in that you have your silly stories, your love songs, your relatively 'hood jams. How does this affect your audience?
Murs: It's developed a strange core of people who enjoy different songs and genres. Sometimes you get the fans of the love songs, and sometimes you get the more socially conscious fans, but you hope that everybody enjoys the songs overall.
NUVO: You focus on being conscious of your actions, words and thoughts in your lyrics. Has this mindset started to rub off onto your peers?
Murs: Goodness, I can only hope so. Honestly, I don't feel anything I do has any impact until my music is successful. I think that if I was a platinum selling artist I'd have more of an effect, however, being a good person and acting positively doesn't always influence my peers. I'm just a good guy. No one is trying to emulate my music or style, because I'm not selling a million records.
NUVO: I love the stories that you tell in some of your songs like "'67 Cutlass" and the Felt song "Dirty Girl" with Slug. How do you come up with these plots?
Murs: Usually I can hear it in the music, and the story just starts. The words just came to me. I really was driving around in a '67 Cutlass earlier, and my friend and I definitely had our fair share of brushes with the wrong side of the law. I took it from that.
NUVO: Being a Felt fan I need to ask -- are you planning on doing any material with Slug in the future?
Murs: Not that I know of, there's no plans on that. People ask me that often though. It seems to be popular.
NUVO: When you set out to pen a record like This Generation, do you have a specific message and sound in mind?
Murs: No. Not at all. We, Fashawn and I, just start making songs. We focused more on a theme in the beginning with This Generation, and then we just started recording. We had one production team, and from there we chose from all their music. The production team's style is so diverse that it was kind of all over the place. We chose a couple songs and the record just started to take shape.
NUVO: What spawned the concept of the Road to Paid Dues tour that you and Fashawn are in the midst of right now?
Murs: It's named after a festival. The festival Paid Dues was based on an idea that came out of my desire to create something for the genre of Atmosphere fans that were younger and couldn't come see us in a dark night club. We wanted to do a Warped Tour or a Summer Jam festival for our fans. We wanted people to come, and to create a destination festival for our fans.
NUVO: What sort of relationships do you have with the artist that you pay dues to on your Facebook page? Any chance of a Macklemore or Black Hippy collaboration in the future?
Murs: I've been friends with everybody in Black Hippy for about four years. I've been on Kendrick, Schoolboy Q, and Ab-Soul's albums before. I can't say that Macklemore and I are friends, but we are friendly. I hope he thinks we are friends.
[Music] DJs + Dancing