Ahead of its time? MURS won’t go so far to say it, but let’s be real, when MURS and East Coast, boom bap producer 9th Wonder made MURS 3:16 The 9th Edition they were paving a new lane for the identity of West Coast hip hop. Now that the scene has undergone a full blow renaissance and has reshaped what a West Coast album sounds like, MURS and 9th Wonder’s collaborative effort is more relevant than ever.
MURS took the time to discuss the album with HIpHopDX and broke down the themes of the album as well as some of the meanings behind its most important songs. For instance he tackled the issue of whites in hip hop which has now become a dead horse discussion thanks to Macklemore and Lord Jamar. However you’ll find that MURS brought up the topic in a more thoughtful way than how it’s being presented now, as is revealed in the article.
Another one of the album’s most-discussed tracks is “And This Is For…,” a cut where Murs rhymes about White rappers and White audiences, among other topics.
“I feel I should have the scans White rappers have,” Murs raps on the track. “It’s sad, but that’s the way it is / What’s the reason that my album doesn’t sell like his? / And don’t front like you don’t why the hell that is / It’s because he’s White, you can relate to his face / Through the years, you’ve been taught that Black is unsafe / Plus it’s only natural for your own to be embraced / Conscious or subconscious, you can’t say that ain’t the case.”
Murs says the song came from spending time opening for Atmosphere. He had been Slug’s hype man and friend. The two worked on an album together, Felt: A Tribute To Christina Ricci, in 2002. During shows with Atmosphere, Murs says he would see sold-out crowds consistently. However, when he performed without Slug, he found ticket sales would drop.
“A promoter came to me and said, ‘Atmosphere tickets went on sale today and they sold more tickets than you sold tonight their first day of pre-sale.'” Murs says. “I said, ‘Ain’t that a bitch?’ [That many] kids listen to me with Felt, but if I don’t come with Atmosphere, this is my turnout? And on the West Coast?
“There was really no excuse for [that] except for race,” Murs adds.
Nevertheless, Murs says he was never upset about the success Slug earned as a solo artist or as a member of Atmosphere.
“That’s my friend,” Murs says. “I’m not mad at his success. I wasn’t mad. I had a friend that died that year, a close friend, so God knows where I would have been without Slug. He was very instrumental in saving my life and so were all of those fans that supported. So I’m not mad at them, but I had to talk about it.”
However, some didn’t take well to Murs’ message on the song.
“It was actually taken the wrong way,” Murs says. “I was really hurt by that. A lot of fans thought I was being racist. My whole point was that I love [all fans]…We should just watch ourselves. I’m thankful that I have any fans, White or Black…And after that, in my city, and I don’t think it’s because of ‘And This Is For…,’ but because 3:16 was so L.A.-based, I developed a lot of Latino fans. My Latino fanbase started to grow…I always identified with Latino culture because to me, that’s L.A. culture, if we’re gonna be honest, so that’s a definite bonus to me. I felt like my music was finally getting to who it was supposed to get to anyway, Black, White, or otherwise…When I started being myself, I think my fanbase started to grow and I think it was because of ‘And This Is For…’ and the honesty of that song.”
This is just a portion of a very in-depth article on a great album.
Click here to read the entire article on HipHopDX.
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