FORTUNE SOUND CLUB & HILLYDILLY present
THURSDAY MARCH 14 , 2013
The Road to Paid Dues Tour Featuring
Fortune Sound Club 147 E.Pender St.
MURS: “People seem to like it a lot.” The shrug is audible even over the phone when Murs, still the people’s champion of Los Angeles hip-hop, is asked about his continuing collaboration with equally legendary North Carolina producer and DJ 9th Wonder. Stuck in a car during a depressingly common logjam of a traffic jam on the notorious 405 Freeway with his new wife, Murs is as blunt and pointedly direct as he is on record.
“I think when I work with anybody, my ability to be flexible is what helps make things work,” he muses. “When it comes to 9th, I pretty much just let him run the whole show. That’s why it works with us. I’m one of the few rappers out here secure enough to relinquish some control in the studio. I mean, I’m still a total control freak. I’m just not as bad as the rest of them.”
Now we’re getting somewhere. Murs wins by surrendering. This is hip-hop on Sun Tzou as opposed to Robert Greene and Joost Elffers. Over the course of “Murs 3:16” and “Murray’s Revenge,” Murs and 9th Wonder crafted two of the most enduring hip-hop albums of the last decade. Packed with warm, soulful tracks and the inimitable wisdom of Murs, it’s a complex collaboration that’s unusual to say the least. Together again for the third time, on “Fornever,” Murs tries to explain just why it works.
“I let 9th pick the beats. I don’t listen to what he brings me and then choose which ones to rap over. He hands me and beat and a lot of times tells me what the song is about, like ‘Asian Girl,’ he relates in relation to one of the thornier songs on “Fornever,” a no-holds-barred exaltation of the charms of women from the Far East. “He’s gotten even more insane with it. But he doesn’t stop me from writing about whatever I want to write about. He’s the producer, so I trust his judgment the same way he trusts me with the rhymes. We have to have that trust, because we definitely don’t understand each other,” he adds without a hint of humor or irony. “I’m into beats at all. I don’t care how rare the sample is or how you put the track together. Whatever. Just do your thing and I’ll do mine and we’re all good.”
FASHAWN: What did you do the year you turned 21? Hip-hop prodigy Fashawn earned a spot on the cover of XXL magazine, toured the world and built a rep as one of rap's new rising stars.
Fashawn's debut album, "Boys Meets World," was heralded by critics and fans alike as one of the best albums of 2009 for its gritty, street-wise and intelligent rhymes. Some even compared his introductory opus to Nas' brilliant "Illmatic." It was enough for XXL to name Fashawn to its list of hip-hop's best freshman.
In 2010 he toured domestically with Wiz Khalifa, then followed that up with a Talib Kweli tour. Fashawn is also no stranger to the International Hip Hop scene touring with Dilated Peoples in 2009 and most recently Rakim in 2011. From coast to coast, and from continent to continent, everyone agreed -- they weren't seeing some fly-by-night novelty act, they were seeing one of hip-hop's freshest new voices.