It finally happened, somebody threw nappyafro some press passes. Okay, to be honest, this isn’t the very first time this has happened but the first time in a long time that it was for an event I actually wanted to attend (God bless to Ryan Dunn & Francesca over at Dunn Deal PR for the assist). Either way, about 10 days or so, your boy B-Easy (With P-Body riding shotgun) went to A3C Hip-Hop Festival to catch a few shows as well to (Hopefully) interview Murs and talk about his new album Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation.
After getting my passes, printing them out at Kinko’s, and riding the train, me & P-Body finally made our way to the venue and immediately got lost. But honestly, that doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that while walking, we ran into a guy dressed EXACTLY like Big Daddy Kane. Let’s call him Retro Mike. Now, of course the whole retro look thing is big with the kids these days, but let me point out a picture that P-Body took of this guy.
The reason Retro Mike gets his own section here:
- Dude’s hightop fade was rivaling Christoper “Kid” Reid’s in his prime
- He approached us and said, “Do you guys know where Big Daddy Kane is performing?”. No one else. He only cared about seeing Kane. Matter of fact, he didn’t even know anybody else was performing.
- Did I mention dude was only 18?
- Mike only listened to cassette tapes, his favorite rapper of all time was Big Daddy Kane (Of course), & and had very little knowledge of current Hip-Hop artists.
- He had on a dookie rope chain, polka dotted dress shirt, and gold striped pants.
- He wanted to roll with us to the A3C but had no ticket and said he would get in free if he said he was Big Daddy Kane’s son. No lie.
After walking over a mile (P-Body’s directions suck) we finally made to The Mascarade, the place where A3C Hip-Hop Festival was being held. Now this was Saturday, the last day of the three day festival, so sadly we missed acts like Big K.R.I.T. & Freddie Gibbs. But it was still a pretty good lineup slated to appear that day. For example, when we got there, Fashawn & Exile was just starting their set.
Sidenote: After we got our press passes, we walked to the entrance and they let Retro Mike walk right in without paying shit. He told everybody he was Big Daddy Kane’s son, a lotta people started asking him to take pictures with them, he got mad, and we never saw him again. Yeah.
From then on we saw a some acts:
Fashawn & Exile – I’m surprised they put these two on the smaller stage. Most of the crowd didn’t pay much attention but Fashawn still did his thing. From this point on, me & P-Body only watched shows on the bigger stage.
Murs – Since I had a scheduled interview already set up with Murs, I was really looking forward to his show. The first great thing I noticed was that he was backed by Ski Beatz & Ski’s live band The Senseis, so hearing them play some of Murs’ catalog was cool. Murs also brought out Tabi Bonney & Joe Scudda for some songs too (Tabi Bonney had just performed before Murs but sadly we missed it). Murs seemed at home in front of the Atlanta crowd as he cracked jokes and performed tracks from Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition, Murray’s Revenge, Murs For President, as well as new material Love & Rockets, Volume 1: The Transformation. The best thing here in my opinion was seeing Murs perform “Break Up (The OJ Song)”; literally one of my favorite songs of all time.
Issa – Didn’t really know much about this guy other than he was Jive Records’ “Youngest Hip-Hop Artist” (Since Jive is no more, is he still gonna use that title?). The crowd wasn’t into his set at all.
Sean Rose (or Paten Locke) – This set wasn’t bad at all other than the fact that I didn’t catch the name. P-Body loved this dude’s beats though. So much that he made a note to download his mixtape when he got home.
Killa Kyleon – Houston own’s Killa Kyleon surprising was well received from the A3C audience. Not only that but he easily won the award for most jewelry of the night. They cut his set short and I thought his crew was gonna beat down the host.
Termonalogy – Backed by Statik Selektah, Termonalogy and his ST crew had a good set. Joe Scudda also came out for song in these set. Wais P also came out and did his verse from Jay-Z’s ”If I Should Die”.
Reks – Showoff Records continued as Reks came on and looked like he was had a good time during his show. At the end of the set he gave a shout out to Termonalogy who was celebrating a birthday. They apparently planned to get fucked up for the occasion.
Ras Kass – You would have thought Ras Kass was the headliner with the reception he got. He performed his older material with P-Body get the crunkest when “Miami Life” came on. It was close to our time to go interview Murs but I had to see if Ras Kass was gonna perform one of my favorites, “Ghetto Fabolous”. He did and we immediately went to find Murs’ tour bus.
The Murs Interview
With the help from his tour manager Jaime, Me & P-Body finally found where Murs’ tour bus was and waited in front for our turn to interview. While we waited, we got to chop it up with Tabi Bonney and dude was pretty cool. We talked about Tabi’s influence and which artists his listened to (He liked artists like Lykke Li and didn’t really listen to much rap but he did give props to Rick Ross’ current hustle). We also talked about Tabi’s most recent project Parachute. As I was asking Tabi about the dance he did on the video for his most notable song “In The Pocket” (A dance that Curren$y tried to get Tabi to do again in this video at Dame Dash’s DD172 ), Murs came out from the back and started actually doing the dance. This is weird because it was no way Murs could have heard what our conversation with Tabi was about. It was our turn to go in the back of the tour bus do our interview with Murs.
I have no idea how many interviews Murs did that day after his show (I assume a lot) but you couldn’t tell; He was literally one of the nicest rappers I ever met. To be honest, it was more like we all were just having a conversation about his music more than an actual interview.
We talked about the the meaning of the title to his new album Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation. I asked did it have anything to do with the comic book of the same name but he explained that it was kinda another way of saying War & Peace and about him growing as a man.
The question came up to why Murs chooses to do albums with one producer handling the production (9th Wonder, Ski Beatz, Ant, etc.). He said that a lot of the classic Hip-Hop albums came from one producer having chemistry with one rapper a la Eric B & Rakim. Out of no where P-Body then pointed out that since Murs did 4 albums with 9th Wonder, Murs should do a joint album with Phonte. Murs said he would love that but admitted that working with Phonte was kinda intimidating because Phonte does so many things so well (Singing & rapping). He then went on to say that when Little Brother broke up, he just wanted to join until things were sorted out with 9th & Phonte, kinda like how rock groups did when replacing band members (Sidenote: Murs said that he didn’t know when the final album with him & 9th would come out).
We talked about him working with Dame Dash on BluRoc records; something Murs says is the best experience he’s had so far with a record label.
And while Murs is now a happily married man, I even got chance to ask about Murs’ ex-girlfriend and pornstar Roxy Reynolds (Murs – “She’s cool. And fine. And fine”).
Okay, let me be upfront here. One reason I’m not just putting up a straight interview with Murs is because for whatever reason, the device I used to record the interview erased most of it. Why? I don’t know. But I did recover some of it and thankfully I could quote what was probably the most poignant part of the interview:
B-Easy (Me): Congratulations on you just getting married man.
Did you cut your braids off because your wife asked you too?
Naw man, she never knew me without the braids, she kinda felt cheated like she was with a different man. She had a legal right to divorce me.
But besides the music, the wild dreads were kinda like your trademark right? I mean, anyone could easily recognize you on the street. It has to be easier now to walk around without getting noticed.
It’s so much easier. But that’s a small burden to bare to be recognized. I actually like that people recognize me; sometimes it makes people’s day. Like somebody has a bad day and they be like; “Man, you just made my day”. A lot of people take that for granted but I don’t take that for granted to have that kinda impact on somebody. I kinda feel like I don’t need to do that anymore but when people do recognize me now I know that’s a real fan. After the videos and the MTV stuff it’s gonna be back to normal but now when people recognize me, I’m like, oh you really know…
(*A montage of people falling down comes up on the TV and then everybody starts laughing*)
After some more discussion about music, we said goodbye to Murs & his crew, left the bus, and went back into the A3C event. dead prez (My second favorite Hip-Hop group of all time) was on stage performing so we caught some of their set but then we had to leave. Besides, it was around 12 midnight at this point, P-Body had work in the morning plus we had a long walk ahead of us back to the train. As we walked down the street, dead prez’s “Hip-Hop” could still be heard blaring in the background. Yeah, it was a good night.
Murs’ Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation is in store now via BLUROC Records. Our review of the album should be up later this week.