There aren’t too many rappers who have been in my life longer than Tech N9ne and MURS. In my fledgling days as a hip-hop head, they both played a pivotal role in my development. I’ve always loved both of them equally but independently. Then, three years ago, when MURS signed to Strange, my two worlds collided.
I’ll admit it, at first, I was surprised. I didn’t see it coming. But the more I thought about it the more it made sense. Both are diverse emcees who both have been blazing their own trail for decades. After ¡MursDay! and Have A Nice Life any smoldering doubts were snuffed out.
Now, With MURS well-adjusted and comfortable at Strange, with Captain California, his second Strange solo album, out, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on what the past few years have been like for him. Here’s what he had to say.
What challenges do you face being signed to Strange?:
My challenge was trying to make songs for Dominion, while making sure I had songs on my album. I could have sat at home and not called Seven but someone on Twitch asked if I was on Collabos. I was like “Fuck! They already turned in the tracklisting? Fuck! Fuck!” I completely spaced. So I called Seven live on air, was like “Yo bro you gotta give me a chance. I’m just coming out of this album coma. Send me some new beats!” I met the challenge with open arms, I said, ” I know I missed this opportunity but I’d really love to be on Dominion” and knowing he was being pushed on the deadline he still sent them to me; he made time for me.
Those are all good challenges. It’s always a challenge. Nothing in life is without challenges and there are always sacrifices, but ever challenge is worth it becuase a tthe end of the day you are living your dream and you make the sacrifices necessary and meet the challenges.
One of the biggest things about Strange Music is the passionate fan base, what’s it been like to become “part of the family” so to speak?
The fans I’ve met are amazing. They’ve been real supportive on twitch and I’ve built genuine friendships out of relationships I’ve made at Strange shows. I have friends all around the country, in Oklahoma City and Boston and Nebraska, I have fans and friends that I’ve met though their love for Strange Music.
When Tech asked me to go on tour I take that seriously because I’m going to be rapping to the fans of one of the greatest performers in the world so you gotta bring your A game. It’s a lot of responsibility. I don’t take it lightly When Technicians tell me, “Oh that verse was dope.” I don’t have to win the Strange MVP award, but as long as I didn’t fuck it up it goes a a long way. To be at a level where Technicians don’t boo you or talk shit about you, you’re doing great.
I know these people respect a great live show and if they respect my show enough not to boo me I’m killing shit. If they love me I’m even doing better. Tech has so much respect for his fanbase and his family, you have to take on that same respect or else you are going to fail miserably.
How have you grown since being signed to Strange Music?
I always feel like I’m becoming a better rapper. My last album was done when I went on the road with Tech, but I was the first rapper in years, besides Krizz and Kutt to ride on the bus with Tech. I got to ride with one of the greatest performers in any genre and one of the greatest rappers ever everyday for 70 days. The insight, him talking about how they worked on Special Effects, watching the behind the scenes footage with him, and getting the behind he scenes of the behind the scenes was like, “wow.”
Just how much goes into an album, seeing how his life experiences go into his music. How he interacts with fans, and his crew, and his staff, and the stage and friends, and family. From Have A Nice Life to now, that was one of the most defining moments of my career. I grew so much.
Being on Strange has been an amazing experience and an amazing opportunity and it’s still growing. I finally got to work with Seven. I finally got to work with Krizz. I’m still getting involved in this company.
For an artist, signing a deal is always a risk. There’s no telling how it will work out, especially when the artist has an established career like MURS’. But when the label and the artist are on the same page, when they have the same goals and vision, the sky is the limit. It’s clear MURS has so much respect and love for Strange Music, and from Seven sending him beats last minute, to the fans adopting MURS while holding him to the Strange standard, MURS has been fully embraced by the Snake & Bat and the result is special. The result is a defining moment in an already storied career.
The result is Captain California.