By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Still raw from a “shitty” tour in support of Murray’s Revenge that he cancelled in the middle (“I just lost interest,” he says), Murs is adamant that he’s hit a glass ceiling in the indie rap underground. And he’s prepared to drastically change his game to transcend the indie niche.
“People have always told me that the best way to sell records is to tour, which is a lie. Record companies don’t want to hear it, and a lot of people disagree with me, but until you hit the right market, you could tour until you’re blue in the face and it won’t make a difference.
“[Now] I’ll do Coachella and Rock the Bells, places where I can make some new fans. If I can win over a tent of 3,000 white people at Coachella, imagine what I could do in front of that many black people. I want to be respected as the best rapper in Los Angeles, period. Still, I’ll always be that strange kid with the weird hair that I was when I was 14 years old and riding Roller Blades past the crack spot.”
Murs isn’t just talking yang. He now shares management with the likes of Snoop Dogg and Tyrese Gibson, and gets props from L.A. power movers like Cypress Hill’s B-Real. To further prove his point, Murs is already working on the follow-up to the self-produced movie Walk Like a Man, a gritty drama about a young rapper trying to break into the rap game.
He’s also planning his next album — which he terms “my definitive statement.” And he’s not concerned with indie cred now, if he ever was: “I want to do a song with Kid Rock [on my next album] so bad. He’s one of my favorite artists.” But Murs reserves his highest praise for perhaps the least likely of L.A. brethren. “I really want to work with [Black Eyed Peas leader] Will.i.am more than anybody,” he gushes. “He’s one of my idols. No one believes me, but that’s the realest dude in hip-hop. He grew up in the projects, and he’s still wearing the same thrift-store clothes that we was wearing back in 1991, freestyling outside of David Faustino’s club. He’s been L.A. hip-hop forever.
“I’ve seen him do so much, and I’m so proud of him,” Murs says warmly. “It’s because of artists like him that I can never give up.”
If that’s not California Love, nothing is.
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