He is the only rapper with his own music festival. Each album he releases sells more than its predecessor. He toured the world without having a major record deal. So, there’s a reason why independent rap stalwart Murs decided to name his major label debut album Murs For President. Murs wants to be rap’s leader and spokesperson, the artist who helps give rap a credible face to fans, the media and critics. After all, the Los Angeles rapper is articulate and well read. He doesn’t use drugs and his platform consists of peace, love, unity and having fun. “Let me speak for hip-hop. I’m the one guy who is qualified to represent us to the masses — which are obviously tired of us because hip-hop often can’t sell records. It can only sell ringtones."
Murs is so passionate about his music and his place in the rap pantheon because he’s one of rap’s best independent success stories. As a member of the Living Legends, Murs learned the art of independent self-promotion by selling cassette tapes of his music out of his car and touring with Living Legends in Europe and Japan. Given his underground status, Murs also embraced the power of the Internet long before most artists realized the power of the burgeoning medium. “When rappers were screaming don’t download, I was screaming, ‘Do it."
Through the Internet, touring and his flurry of independent releases with Living Legends, with producer extraordinaire 9th Wonder, as one-half of Felt (with Atmosphere’s Slug) and as a solo artist, Murs has become one of rap’s best success stories. His Paid Dues makes him the only rapper to own his own music festival. But for Murs, the success of Murs For President will dictate his legacy. “My whole life, I’ve been trying to be Ice Cube,” Murs says. “The little stuff that I’ve got that people trip off of, I’m not even tripping off of because Shaquille O’Neal has a platinum plaque and I don’t — and I call myself a rapper. That hurts my feelings when I wake up in the morning. That’s what I’m here to get. I’m making a decision to leave Planet Underground Hip-Hop. I’m jumping off right now. Whoever wants to come with me, come with me.” And be sure to vote Murs For President.
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