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LAist Interview: MURS

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Photo via MURS' MySpace profile

LAist got some time in with Los Angeles rapper MURS. MURS has just released 'MURS FOR PRESIDENT' on Warner Bros Records, and is a member of the rap groups Living Legends, and Felt. He hails from the Los Angeles neighborhood of Mid-City. I call him a homie-by-proxy! MURS stands for Making Underground Raw Shit - but it should stand for My Ultimate Rare Sit-down.

LAist: Congrats on the new album. You mentioned on the album that you lost money on the Paid Dues tour - How come?
MURS: It didn't perform as well as expected - it takes some time to get into 'profit'.

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How many years have you been doing the festival?
3 years

Slug of Atmosphere is a ladies man - did working with Slug [on Felt 1 and Felt 2] result in a huge influx of female fans?
A lil' bit... [yeah] more females, I'm sure of it.

What are the plans with the hair style?
It does whatever it does, dunno what's next.

Do you have a favorite track on the new album (MURS For President)?
Me and This Jawn, or Everything.

What was the origin of the MURS name? Who coined it?
Words from the heavens.

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Does being at Warner Bros open up the rolodex to other WB artists?
It opens the check book up to be able to work with other artists in general [Editor: Like Snoop?] Snoop was a lot more organic than people would think ...it wasn't about money, it was about wanting to work together more so, contrary to what people would think at pitchfork. It wasn't phoned in - we met and were in the same room - everything like that. I don't do songs with peeps I don't know. Warner Bros also lets me access all kinds of producers.

Do you listen to the Howard Stern Show?
When I was younger... not since I was younger, I don't have Sirius.

Have you been up to the Sirius compound?
Def - I've done the Lip service Show, felt up porn stars, DJ Green Lantern's show, ... bunch of shows.

What's the deal - you a fan of Christina Ricci [title of the Felt album]? And did you see her in Black Snake Moan?
Def [a fan] - Nah, didn't see it at all.

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I take it you're a big Kobe fan [being from LA]?
Not at all, I'm a NYKnicks fan.

What's the pros and cons from being on a major label compared to an indie label?
Everything has its pros and cons - lot more resources [at a major label], a lot of peeps are talented at what they do - a lot more people who have jobs with specific tasks, whom are abundantly qualified to do those tasks. You have a whole staff you can manage and have the support of that staff - it's a powerful thing.

Are you doing a Felt 3 [with Slug]?
Hope so... planning on it.

Do you ever indulge in some reality TV?
No, don't have time - don't watch anything but Ugly Betty, Heroes, [I'm] behind on both. Also, Ultimate Fighting, but I'm gonna miss out on it.

If you weren't rapping, what do you think you'd be doing for a living?
Shit man, I have no idea - working at a music store... or a comic book store.

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What do you think of those labels like, 'emo, hipster, nerd, goth?'
It's all good, anything to help you navigate what you want. Americans are about being narrow-minded and closes themselves off to things. [Whatever gets you] more focused on things, on what you like, and helps you discover more... labels can positive or negative.

Where is MURS' vacation spot?
[Las] Vegas.

Gamble much?
Nah, I don't gamble.

Are you more of a smoker or drinker or neither?
Neither...

Are you like Timbaland who neither smokes nor drinks - he "treats his body like a temple."
I dunno about all that [temple speak]. I stopped smoking cigarettes after 3 years... no hard drugs, not a pill popper... [you'd be] hard pressed to catch me wasted. Life is about balance, not [being] in a box, because you'll have a crash.


Murs - L.A.

What are some spots in LA you live and die by, in terms of local spots that a tourist wouldn't know about?
Sky's [Gourmet] Tacos, Lucy's, and Kitchen 24 on N. Cahuenga are places to eat. I dunno what people sleep on in LA. I just go to the comic book store and Best Buy and eat food. ArcLight Theater [is a hidden gem] I don't want people to know about. But I don't really go out much. [Editor: What about the new Nobu on La Cienega?] I wouldn't know if it slapped me in the face, I'm the wrong person to ask.

If you could be any comic book character which one would you be, and why?
Black Panther - the black man is god.

Who are your heroes?
Man...... Walker Martin owned a record store in my neighborhood...he passed away. [RIP].
Bam Margera, Wil.I.Am...

You seen Jackass?
Def- like the movies. Bam gets paid for being himself. He made a lifestyle and a living being himself, ya gotta admire that, oh and Frank Sinatra.

Do you want to get into acting, since you are in Hollywood?
Yeah, def. You know I made a couple small films & would like to continue to do that.

Did you watch the Vice Presidential Debate?
Nah, I was working man. I got it tivoed, gonna go by Mom's and watch it on Sunday. But I like Joe Biden.

Thoughts on Sarah Palin?
I haven't seen her speak - I need to watch the debate to get a fresh and objective opinion.

Are you going to vote?
Def...

Have you met Barack Obama yet?
I have not - been in same room, and that is as good as it gets for me, right now.

And would you be shocked if he had one of your tracks on his iPod?
Nah, I wouldn't be shocked - I'd be honored and ecstatic, we know he likes hip-hip.

What is next for Murs?
MURS For President

Will you collaborate with El-P again in the future?
I would hope so... I would think so.

How'd you get hooked up with [the producer] 9th Wonder?
A friend of mine ID (Ian Davis), gave me a Deep [Inc] cd, and I called him, and told him, that I really like your stuff, can we work together, and we got together and that was it.

Who are your favorite rappers and who are your favorite non-rap musicians?
Rap: Helter Skelter, TI, Lil Wayne... Non-Rap: The new Gym Class Heroes, finally starting to like Radiohead, Darius Rucker. I was making out with this chick last night who was playing Lucero.

Oh? In the new album (MURS For President), it said that you're "wifed up" (in a serious relationship), are you still with her?
Nah...
Okay, so I can say the aforementioned?
Yeah man. I been around the block...but I appreciate it.

Who gets more chicks - the headlining act of Paid Dues or the organizer/MC?
Whoever is headliner.

Who was the last Paid Dues Festival headlining act?
De La Sol.

Thank You for your time, MURS!
Thanks!

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MURS FOR PRESIDENT, IN STORES NOW!

Shabooty/LAist signing off

MURS - MYSPACE ][ HOMEPAGE ][ UPCOMING TOUR DATES:
Oct 8 2008 8:00P
Tonic Lounge / 21 & Over Reno, Nevada
Oct 9 2008 8:00P
W.O.W. Hall Eugene, Oregon
Oct 10 2008 8:00P
Hawthorne Theatre Portland, Oregon
Oct 11 2008 8:00P
Nectar / 21 & Over Seattle, Washington
Oct 12 2008 9:00P
The Other Side / 18 & Over Missoula, Montana
Oct 14 2008 7:00P
Nutty’s Bar & Grill Sioux Falls
Oct 15 2008 8:00P
The Waiting Room Omaha, Nebraska
Oct 16 2008 6:00P
Vaudeville Mews Des Moines, Iowa
Oct 17 2008 6:00P
7th Street Entry Minneapolis, Minnesota
Oct 18 2008 10:00P
Pizza Luce Duluth, Minnesota
Oct 20 2008 8:00P
High Noon Saloon / 18 & Over Madison, Wisconsin
Oct 21 2008 9:00P
The Abbey / 18 & Over Chicago, Illinois
Oct 22 2008 9:30P
Blind Pig / 18 & Over Ann Arbor, Michigan
Oct 23 2008 7:00P
The Basement Columbus, Ohio
Oct 24 2008 8:30P
Beachland Ballroom & Tavern Cleveland, Ohio
Oct 25 2008 9:00P
Shadow Lounge Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Oct 28 2008 7:00P
Paradise Rock Club / 18 & Over Boston, Massachusetts
Oct 29 2008 8:00P
Bowery Ballroom / 16 & Over New York, New York
Oct 31 2008 9:00P
North Star Bar / 21 & Over Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nov 1 2008 7:00P
Rock and Roll Hotel Washington, DC
Nov 2 2008 8:00P
Bedrock Baltimore, Maryland
Nov 3 2008 8:00P
Cat’s Cradle Carrboro, North Carolina
Nov 5 2008 8:00P
Casbah at Tremont Music Hall Charlotte, North Carolina
Nov 6 2008 8:00P
New Brooklan Tavern / 18 & Over Columbia, South Carolina
Nov 7 2008 8:00P
Mercy Lounge / 18 & Over Nashville, Tennessee
Nov 8 2008 7:00P
The Masquerade - Hell Stage Atlanta, Georgia
Nov 10 2008 9:00P
Cafe 11 St. Augustine, Florida
Nov 11 2008 8:00P
Churchill’s Pub / 18 & Over Miami, Florida
Nov 13 2008 8:30P
Platform 809 Tallahassee, Florida
Nov 14 2008 7:00P
The Social / 18 & Over Orlando, Florida
Nov 15 2008 9:00P
Common Grounds / 18 & Over Gainesville, Florida
Nov 17 2008 9:00P
One Eyed Jacks / 18 & Over New Orleans, Louisiana
Nov 18 2008 9:00P
Emo’s Alternative Lounging - Inn Austin, Texas
Nov 19 2008 9:00P
Hailey’s Denton, Texas
Nov 21 2008 9:00P
The Record Bar / 18 & Over Kansas City, Missouri
Nov 22 2008 8:00P
Fox Theatre Boulder, Colorado
Dec 11 2008 8:00P
El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, California

Photo2 by Todd Westphal
Photo3 via MURS' MySpace profile