LATHAM, NY – Def Jam recording artist, Keith Murray, was in town to speak to troubled youth at Tryon Institute in Johnstown, NY. Murray, who served 3 years in prison, shared his story as a rapper and how being involved in an altercation at a nightclub, cost him his freedom. Keith Murray’s career started in 1994 with “The Most Beautifulist Thing In This World” followed by “Enigma” in 1996. Keith along with his Def Squad compadres Erickk Sermon, a and Redman stormed the music scene with their 1998 release, “El Nino” which included smash hit, “Def Squad Delite” generating a resurgence of The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight”. In 1999, he released his 3rd CD, “It’s A Beautiful Thing” followed by “Best of Keith Murray”. Now that he’s back on the scene, Keith Murray has a new project due out in April.
I caught up with Mr. Murray during his on-air interview with Jamz 96.3 radio personality, Marie Cristal. Then I waited patiently for him to wrap up an interview he was doing with a cat from XXL. In the meantime, staff and Keith’s peeps were treated to southern style cuisine prepared by Hattie’s in Saratoga, NY. After Keith finished his food, it was time for photos. Then we finally sat down and talked about his day at Tryon and his new album.
HHS: Keith, can you tell me about your experience speaking at Tryon Institute?
KM: Well I was just down there basically giving a motivational speech to the young guys that were in there, letting them know that I came from where they came from. You can either go one or two ways – the good way or the bad way and it’s up to them to look down within themselves to reach inside their soul and pull out the best in them. I was just encouraging them and letting them know that life is hard, but you gotta make some sacrifices.
HHS: Let’s talk briefly about your new project. What you got going on?
KM: I have a new project called “He’s Keith Murray”. The album is coming out April 1st on Def Jam.
HHS: What’s the name of the single that’s dropping?
KM: The single is called “Yeah, Yeah Ya Know It” featuring Redman and Erick Sermon, produced by Just Blaze.
HHS: So for those who don’t know, where have you been and which direction are you headed in with your music?
KM: I’ve been incarcerated for 3 years. Where I’m going is a fulfilled career in music.
HHS: For people who don’t know about Keith Murray, he had a few albums out in the 90′s and one of my favorite cuts was “The Most Beautifulist Thing In The World”. Please describe some of the music on your new album.
KM: Well the music on my new album consists of 14 tracks of just many different aspects of Keith Murray that’s why I decided to name it after me. It touched down on a lot of things as far as pain, happiness, setbacks, achievements that I really didn’t touch down on my last projects. So the listener will get a full view of who Keith Murray really is on this album.
HHS: As far as production, who’s on the album?
KM: I got Just Blaze, Trackmasterz, Clark Kent, Erick Sermon, Keith Rock and Jazze Pha.
HHS: And guest appearances?
KM: Guest appearances by Redman, Busta Rhymes, Erick Sermon and L.O.D.
HHS: What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into music and take it to the next level?
KM: Well you gotta be serious about it so you gotta build up your education on the music field as far as literature. You have to ask various questions of people who are in that field and just be true to what you do. Don’t let anybody deter you from your goals.
HHS: Anything else you want people to know about Keith Murray?
KM: Yeah, this is my comeback album. I appreciate everybody for looking out for me when I was in jail, the support. Pick up this album ’cause you’re gonna love it.
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