Although the days of true emceeing may seem to be obsolete, there is still a battery of individuals who pride themselves on lyricism and rhythmical expression. Standing in the midst of those individuals is Philly’s own Murda Mics, lyrical technician in his own right. Recently Skye P caught up to the microphone murderer who gave us the skinny on his latest mixtape Lyrical Lake.
So where are you from?
MM: I was born in the year of 1983, in Philadelphia P.A, and raised in the hood we call the “Badlandz”. My mother little sister and I lived in the Erie section where the struggle was our everyday life. Music was always heard on street corners and in car systems banging loud around my hood. It was one of the only things people, including myself, felt good about while putting up with the environment we lived in and trying to survive in it at the same time.
How’d you get your moniker?
MM: Every time I spit for the people they say I kill it so it’s Murda. That’s what I do acapella on a track, freestyle or written, I Murda Mics; every and any microphone I get my hands on. It just came to me one day. My name is Mike, my music is Murda, [so] I felt like it was the perfect name for me. I fit the description of exactly what I do and who I am.
How long have you been in the game??
MM: Ever since I could remember I always felt very passionate about music. No matter what it was, when I heard it, I knew it was something I loved to listen and relax to. A lot of people may not know, but before I really started spittin, I was a crazy beat box machine ahh! Yeah, ask about me. In the fifth grade I started writing lyrics. I was ten years old. I got to high school and it was a rap from there. I dropped my first mixtape in about “03”. I done did shows with [everybody from] Don Omar to Fat Joe and a Philly heavyweight, Beanie Siegel. I been in the game working hard at my craft every second of my life. But in the public’s eye you know, being heard and doing shows, its going on thirteen years. I’ve been living this life and dedicating myself to what I love to do the most and what I do the best.
Who are some of the pioneers who inspired you to emcee?
MM: Run DMC, Michael Jackson, LL Cool J, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, KRS ONE, Jay-Z, Nas, and of course Big Pun.
Who are your top five emcees?
MM: JadaKiss, Jay-Z, Big Pun, Notorious B.I.G., Eminem
Who are your top five female emcees?
MM: MC Lyte, Lauryn Hill, Queen Latifah, Lil Kim, Eve
If you could collaborate with one of the aforementioned artists, who would it be?
MM: I always wanted to do a track with the late great Michael Jackson R.I.P. But I would do a track with Jay if the opportunity showed itself because I feel that he is the strongest and most diverse artist in the history of Hip-Hop. I strongly feel that I’m going to be mentioned in the same breath as him.
What are five must have albums that you keep in rotation in your whip?
MM: Get Rich or Die Tryin, Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt, The Slim Shady LP, Capital Punishment.
Your lyricism and delivery is reminiscent of the Old School battle rappers (i.e. Kool G Rap, Rakim, and Big Daddy Kane). Did you come up in the battle circuit? If so, what’s your record?
MM: Yes I did. I ran through the hood as a young emcee holding my own and I’m undefeated till this day.
What was your most memorable battle?
MM: My most memorable battle was the V.A. Source competition, out of 16 emcees I came in 1st place, which landed me in the April 2007 issue of the Source Magazine. That was not only a memorable moment for me personally but also one of the most exciting wins in my book.
You’re making a lot of noise on the mixtape circuit. Your latest mixtape, “Lyrical Lake”, is a smorgasbord of high-octane lyrics over a bed of original and industry beats. Who were some of the key players that helped you put this project together?
MM: Dj Redz, Goonie Goon, Ema One Dunn, L Boog, and Marc Rivas.
“Hip-Hop”, the lead single from Lyrical Lake follows the same formula as Common’s “I Used to Love H.E.R.” How does your personification of the art form differentiate Common’s?
MM: Well I don’t remember his song that well. But my version is from the point of view that Hip-Hop is a person, and is speaking through me with emotions, heart and soul; reminiscing of what Hip-Hop use to be. The sound has changed dramatically, so I felt like if Hip-Hop was a person (emcee) itself [and] that song would be exactly what Hip-Hop would want us to listen to.
Another bona fide hot single is Déjà Vu, where you go all out over Jay-Z and Nas’ “Black Republicans”. The lyrics are off the charts! I can’t front. I had to press rewind a couple of times to get the full affect of your words. There’s plenty of hot lines in this track, but what would you say is your favorite?
MM: Murda scenes is all over the globe, he the safest one on it reading the papers in his robe. I just felt like the [past] president does not really know what we live and go through or the pain we feel and the losses we take where we are from everyday.
How would you describe the current state of Hip-Hop?
MM: Distant and new. It’s always changing, but that’s what I’m here for; to bring the real Hip-Hop back. I feel that artist forgot about the roots, were it all came from and the real opportunity that we have to send a message through our songs being heard by the world.
There are so many emcees out there who claim to be “the best rapper alive” or “the king of a certain area”. How do you view these individuals and how do you measure up against them?
MM: Every MC who claims to be the best is thinking the way every passionate artist should think and feel about his or her craft. Me personally, I don’t worry about who’s the best because when it’s all said and done, you lie where you stand. I’m running as hard as I can until I’m gone but know this, I will make my mark in the game.
There are so many musical acts out there that have oversaturated the airwaves, which often results with the artists losing their potential for a long music career. What are you doing to preserve your longevity in Hip-Hop?
MM: There isn’t any style of flow that I can’t do. I get better everyday, so as long as I challenge myself I can’t lose. My way of music is a blessing; a true gift. I keep my faith and energy on high all the time and I love every minute of it. Every chance I get I’m writing, recording, doing a show or just listening or studying music. I stay open minded. I am never limiting myself. I’m always working on new flows and different styles of music.
When can your fans expect a full length album from you?
MM: Summer of 2010!
What producers will are you working with to put together your LP?
MM: Ema One Dunn, Overdose, Strophic, and Myself.
Will there be any special guest features?
MM: Maybe. But I concentrate on my versatility so I feature on my shit with different styles. But I’m open to anything that’s on the right level. Any one who is serious about what they do and do it good is cool with me.
What crews are you affiliated with?
MM: M.M.R, we have a family that’s way deeper than music. We run the streets and have Sunday dinners.
What other projects are you currently working on?
MM: Act Of God, The Rehab, Horse On Da Polo, MMR (Making Mines Regardless).
What’s next for Murda Mics?
MM: Only God knows what’s next for any of us but I plan to drop one of the craziest anticipated albums in the underground market’s history. [I’ll] Continue to make great original music and launch my career to the next level in the game. The goal is always greatness. I just have to keep making music everyday all day. When the time is right Murda Mics is gone change the world.
How can other artists and your fans get at you?
What advice do you have for your fellow underground artists who are trying to break into the music business?
MM: Keep working hard 24/7 and do it for the love. So don’t let anyone tell you [that] you can’t make it or be who you want to be in life in general. This game is very hard. You got to watch out for the unexpected. Even your own friends can become enemies dealing in this type of business. Just as long as you do right to others, stand for what you believe in and don’t take no foul play from anyone you should be good. Keep it real with everyone. Don’t mix family with business; it’s not healthy for you mentally as well as physically. If you feel like this is right for you, keep rocking!! Kill every track you get on. Go hard at every performance you have and NETWORK as well as PROMOTING yourself and your music as much as you can. Stay consistent in all that you do and the hard work will pay off. Music speaks for itself!!
If you could describe your music in one word, what would that word be?