Funkadelic Freestyles asked Murs for five minutes, and he gave us ten. This is sort of like the time I asked for two scoops of ice cream but they gave me four. Although, I'm pretty sure this interview was a lot more satisfying than those frozen chocolate scoops from heaven. Anyway, from Rock The Bells Boston 7.26.08, let's go:

I want to start it off with an offbeat question. You’re the best storyteller I know in terms of emceeing. If you don’t mind, tell us a ridiculous story from a recent tour experience.

Every show I have this song called
“The Pain” or “The Rain,” and during the breaks at every city I make out with a girl sitting in the front row. And in one city, the girl was gorgeous and beautiful and afterwards she walked up to me and kissed me again. I love it when women are forward, so I was like “cool” and I ended up flying her out to the tour and hang out with me. We were having a great date and she was a wonderful human being, one of the best girls I’ve ever dated, and I go to get on the bus and I’m just in bliss, I’m in heaven. Then some kids come up and they’re like “yo, what the fuck, you’re supposed to be on right now.” I’m saying, “that’s got nothing to do with me, man,” but they’re banging on the bus really hard so I pushed the door open and said ‘what the fuck, yo…I will fucking kill you, don’t fucking do that!” I’m like, “stop, that’s not polite; I don’t care what’s going on outside unless the bus is on fire, I have to pay for this if you dent it motherfucker.” They’re saying, “we don’t give a fuck, you’re supposed to be on.” I’m like, “are you serious?!” They started to run away as I got back on the bus and I’m like, “go talk to the dude who took your money, I didn’t take your money, go get your money back if you don’t want to wait.” My friends of mine were on there and they were doing a good set, and I’m there, I’m about to go on.

So I get dressed and I go on stage, and as I’m walking back to the stage with my new date, I’m trying to get back to cloud nine, my homebody whose handling the tour says, “good set, y’all we’re killing it…good to see you, sorry about your bus.” I’m like, “sorry about the what?!” Then I look and they had slashed both of the tires on my tour bus. That’s $1500 a tire on a tour where I was already losing money. So I go in and say, ‘fuck it.” I take it in stride, that’s just life, you can’t roll over and die. So when I go out on stage to perform, the motherfucker who slashed the tires has the nerve to walk to the front of the stage through the crowd and start flipping me off. Needless to say, it ended with some violence – I don’t hit anyone anymore. Some things happened and I had some pretty nice fans who had my back, so he got what he deserved. Next day I was late to my show in Chicago because I spent four hours at some truck stop paying $3000 to get both tires fixed. That’s a tour story. The girl’s beautiful but we don’t date anymore, she’s still, you know…

Alright, let me move on. Paid Dues, was it successful? I mean, you had a whole festival on your shoulders.

Successful? Everyday that you breathe is a success. So yes, it was successful. Did I get rich? No. Did the kids have fun and maybe tell some more kids to come next year? Yes, that’s successful and everybody got home safely, that’s my main thing.

You talk about success, and you got to be at Paid Dues with all those great artists. A lot of people I interview tell me that they do hip-hop but it’s all about business, it’s not about loving the genre anymore. What is it for you?

I do business with Warner Brothers; I don’t do business with my fans. I mean, we do business because fans buy their music directly from me, but there’s things you do for the love and there’s things you do for the money. I’m just happy that I what I love makes me money. I mean, to me I’m smarter at business than a lot of rappers, and those are the ones who claim to be in it for the money and if you’re in it for the money then you should be doing a lot better business. I don’t know, man. All I can say is that I’m blessed to be able to make money at something that I love.

Speaking of money and speaking of Warner Bros., Murs For President is coming out and you’ve also got the free download, Sweet Lord, with 9th Wonder. Murs For President is your major label debut. What can we expect and are you really trying to be president? I know, dumb question.

Yeah, I’m trying to lead hip-hop in the right direction. These motherfuckers are very stupid and very ignorant. They don’t know their ABCs or their grammar. But it’s gonna be a big record, it’s gonna sound bigger. It’s like if you’re a film fan, Kevin Smith made
Clerks and then he made Clerks 2. This is my Clerks 2. I get to create the movies, I don’t just have to reference it now; I can bring the movies to you. I like dancing and I hate having to go somewhere and listen to somebody say some bullshit while I dance. If I can make something that girls can dance to and we can rap to and not feel stupid…see there’s no Jay-Z or Nas of the west coast. All we have is Ice Cube; there’s no one that we have that people respect as a lyricist and a pop rapper. I’m trying to fill that void where as [people can say] “oh he’s nice, but he also has that one song I like to listen to in the club.”

There’s really deep five-minute songs with no hooks on the album. One song describes the origin of hip-hop and how it connects to slavery, the C.I.A. crack conspiracy, into Sedgwick and Cedar with
Kool Herc.

This is all in one song?

One song, so I’ve still got crazy shit like that but then I’ve got a song with where we’re gonna have fun; let’s dance with some girls and feel on somebody’s butt.

Because you’re bridging the gap?

Yeah, like
Black Eyed Peas…but not.

Will there be a third Murs and Slug album, and who are you dedicating it to?

No one will ever know who the tribute is for. You’ll know when it comes out.

Who are your favorite new artists, and is there anyone on Rock The Bells who you’d consider collaborating with?

I’m trying to get into this hipster hop thing, man; I think that’s the future of hip-hop. It’s what the kids are doing. Hip-hop is about being young and different and right now it should be about getting away from sampling because we’ve been trying to make money for a lot of these old artists. I think it’s something we can come back to later but a lot of these publishing houses don’t respect us; I’ve had to clear about $200,000 in samples. They want 90% of your publishing but I’m just like, “yo, come on man. If I wasn’t sampling this record, you wouldn’t be making any money.” I also think the new hipster-electro shit encourages black kids to play instruments and black kids need to get back to being musical so we can join the rest of the world and elevate world music on the whole. By sampling old music, we’re not doing anything new or forward. 9th chops shit, but if we learn how play shit without chopping samples, we could come up with different arrangements; I think we can advance. I’m really excited, though. [The hipsters’] energy is more like my onstage energy. A lot of the regular rappers, they’re too cool for hip-hop. But if you go to a
Spank Rock show, everybody’s moving. When I get off stage, I’m soaked and I’m sweating and the kids are having fun.

That’s what I want to be a part of, so I want to collaborate with some of these kids and help validate them so no one can say that the older kids are hating on them. No one validated our indie movement; nobody from the old school came and said, “oh Murs we’re gonna get on a song with you.”

No hardcore co-signs or anything like that, huh?

Hell no. Never in my life…I’ve busted my ass for everything. Ironically, I’d like to help [the younger generation]. I needed some help; I wish
DJ Quik or Snoop Dogg had said, “hey, he’s dope.” At least [Talib] Kweli had Jay-Z and he vouched for Common. Honestly, I’ve been dope my whole life doing something new and different, representing the west coast but nobody ever reached out. Instead of being bitter about it, I’m making sure I’m reaching out to kids like Tyga or whoever wants to be down. If they want to work, let’s work. I’m just down to work.

Alright, Murs. So the album is out when?

September 30th.

And Sweet Lord is on the internet right now for free download.

Why’s it free?

The people kept asking for it, man. Especially so people will stop thinking I do this for money. I don’t do any of this for money; I could have made a lot of money on Sweet Lord. I’m accepting donations right now because I did spend $5000 mixing and mastering, but if I don’t ever make my money back I don’t care. I didn’t go to Warner Bros. for the money, I went there to use their money to create bigger sounds and make more music. To get the word out to these kids who are forced to watch MTV that’s there real hip-hop out there. It’s not about me making money, so hopefully this [whole label situation] proves to be right. This is something I could have sold you guys; 50-70,000 of my core fans would have bought [Sweet Lord] before they bought Murs For President. I was like, “here, take it so you understand I’m not here for your money.” I’m a musician and I’m here to entertain.

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