Intergalactic love

As both a member of the Living Legends and a solo artist, Murs has (whether he likes it or not) become something of a spokesman for underground hip-hop. It’s a good year for the emcee; his new album Murs for President will be released on Warner Bros. records soon enough, and as it turns out, intern Alex Benson has a serious man-crush on the poor fellow. Tee-hee.

Where’s your favorite place to play a show?

In the world?

Yeah, just anywhere you have played.

That’s kind of a loaded question; I guess I have to say Sacramento. I like Australia. Honestly, the best show on my last tour was Sacramento, hands down. I didn’t know I had so much love there. It was real dope.

The new album is being released on Warner Bros. Why the switch from Definitive Jux to a major label?

It was just time. I had done all I could do when it comes to Def Jux … I made music to be heard by everyone … I wasn’t getting that chance on Def Jux … Everyone in our independent scene complains about mainstream hip-hop and a lot of our fans trash it, but no one is doing anything to change it.

This is a hypothetical question: If you were elected president of the hip-hop nation, who would be your vice president? Who would be your cabinet mates?

Um, wow. I would go with Shock-G … and Humpty Hump as my vice presidents. In my cabinet, my secretary of defense would have to be Dub C or Spider Loc. I definitely have to have KRS-One, Sage Francis, Chuck D, Queen Latifah. and Will Smith to round it out.

Would you add any bills or any laws to the hip-hop nation to stir in some change?

First law I would have to pass would be [is] never post anything on the Internet that you aren’t willing to say to a person’s face … [and] I think that gangsta rap should be aptly-titled “fantasy rap.”

Is hip-hop dead?

I definitely take offense to that … I think Nas’ latest album Hip Hop is Dead was one of his greatest albums. People have been saying that forever. It’s like people saying that we are living in the last days of time. It’s ignorant, I guess. It’s a hyperbolic statement really. Of course it’s not dead. You’re speaking figuratively. I am still doing original hip-hop. Dead is such a finite term. Hip-hop is alive. There is some kid doing it right now. I meet kids at shows all the time. Everybody is rapping. I don’t understand how hip-hop could be dead.