Hip-Hop That's Nice

Murs on His Strange Music Signing

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Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 8:17 AM
click to enlarge Murs - COURTESY OF STRANGE MUSIC
  • Courtesy of Strange Music
  • Murs
Murs, the hardest working man in West Coast hip-hop, has signed with Strange Music, the ascendent underground label that's home to rappers like Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko. 

See also: I Pissed Off Tech N9ne. Now We're Having Dinner

It's not an immediately obvious pairing. Murs has released music everywhere from majors (Warner Bros.) to venerated indies (Definitive Jux), but the more you think about it, the more it makes sense.

We spoke with Murs - who came up in South Central but moved to Tucson a few years ago - about the signing, as well as his recent adopting of a pair of children.

How did the Strange Music deal come about?

We hooked up via booking Tech for [Murs' annual hip-hop festival] Paid Dues. I think they appreciated that, since so many people compartimentalize Strange Music in this weirdo Juggalo box. The appreciated me reaching out from "the mainstream" which meant a lot to them. Being on Warner Bros. at the time, their building rivaled that of Warner.

So, this was 2008?

Yes. And, not only did they appreciate who I was and my art, but they offered me a tour with Tech N9ne, which was a dream come true for me because I was very much aware of his touring empire. They offered me a nice amount of money to do it and they paid me the amount of money they said they would, when they said they would, which was amazing. I was able to buy my first piece of property thanks to that money, so I've always been grateful that way.

Do you recall your first  time hearing about Tech N9ne or crossing paths?

I never crossed paths with him physically, but my first time hearing him was on the Gang Related soundtrack. Tech's delivery really stood out. When I heard his rapidfire delivery, it reminded me of Project Blowed, but it was a lot more intense. Back then, if you rapped like that you were backpack, so it was like "what's he doing on the Gang Related soundtrack?" I'm a big industry nerd. Growing up before I wanted to be a rapper, I wanted to be an A&R. People who worked in the industry were stars to me. It was a Death Row/Priority release. Some of the people who worked on that same project, now work at Strange. My friend and A&R Dave Weiner and Dana Mason, who is now my manager, ended up signing Tech to Artist Direct after that, and Dana and Dave are two of the main reasons I was able to sign to Strange.

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