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Keith Murray The Most Beautifullest Fade In This World
Author: IV Anthony
The Notorious B.I.G. was Ready To Die when his debut album dropped in September of 1994. The album from the Brooklyn emcee released three chart-topping singles before eventually selling more than five million copies worldwide. Biggie would go on the sell out concert halls and venues across the country. His life and flourishing music career was tragically cut short right before his sophomore album Life After Death was released. Many wonder the impact Biggie would’ve had on the rap game had he still been alive.
Wu Tang Clan’s Method Man released his first solo album a couple months later. Tical peaked at the fourth spot and the remixed song, “All I Need” from the album earned Meth’s first and only Grammy. Method Man went on to drop several more solo albums along with many Wu Tang projects and has starred in more than 20 movies.
Long Island’s own Keith Murray had the world in the palm of his hands when his debut album The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World dropped in November of 1994. The Def Squad affiliate scored two chart-topping singles off of his album and solidified Murray’s place as one of the hottest new rappers in the game. His second and third efforts also landed on the charts and Murray continued to enjoy success in the rap game throughout the 90s.
Fast forward to 2012. No one stays on top forever. Few rappers have the longevity and the superstar status like a Jay-Z but it isn’t hard to believe that if Biggie Smalls weren’t gunned down in 1997, he would have enjoyed a similar career. Nas has earned and maintained his spot in the elite club of rap legends still selling out crowds wherever he goes. Though he still tours with his group Wu Tang Clan, Method Man parlayed his rap success into a bonafide acting career.
Keith Murray? He’s been reduced to performing for crowds with just a handful of people in attendance. It’s truly sad to see a rap veteran have less of a crowd than his opening acts but the music industry is a fickle mistress who hops from one artist to the next. It takes a lot to hold her interest. Rappers need to adapt, evolve to keep up with the times but still maintain their authenticity and originality to please their loyal fans. Not an easy feat.
What happened to Keith Murray’s career? After parting ways with his record label in 2003 for allegedly smacking a Def Jam employee, Murray floundered around before releasing Rap-Murr-Phobia though Koch Records in 2007. Murray’s still performs with fellow Def Squad members Redman and Erick Sermon here and there but he has never been able to reach the success and buzz that surrounded him when he dropped The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World. He recently released a free mixtape but with little to no promo surrounding Murray Madness, who knew about it? I found out about it while researching for this story. How many people are actively checking for new Keith Murray music?
Did Murray not adapt? With the explosion of social networking sites Facebook, twitter and now instagram, rappers are instantly and continuously connected to their fans. There’s no way Murray should have less than 6,000 followers on twitter. Artists that understand the power of harnessing social networking sites are able to survive and flourish in an industry that has seen an unprecedented decline in album sales. Underground rapper Jean Grae has readily admitted that twitter is largely responsible for her resurgence; she has over 100,000 followers and growing. Joe Budden lives, eats and breathes twitter and instagram. His virtual followers translates to actual fans filling up crowds and helping to sell out shows.
Though he tries hard to not end up as the subject of a Vh1 Where Are They Now special, Murray’s time has come and gone. Fame is fleeting, especially for a rapper who can’t pack in a crowd for a free concert in his home state. The most beautifullest thing in this world that could happen to Murray is for the hands of time to turn back to ’94. Sadly, this will never happen.
- Keith Murray (coolmuzic.com)
- Redman (besthiphopartists.com)
- The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan (extratorrent.com)
- Method Man’s New Crystal Meth LP Entirely Produced By RZA, Promises New Music [VIDEO] (hiphopwired.com)
- The Wu-Tang Marketing Plan (mentalfloss.com)