By Rashad D. Grove
(AllHipHop Features) When considering up and coming MC’s that are primed to make in an impact in the rap game, without question, Kur should among the top names of every list. The Philadelphia native has been making major moves since he first burst on the scene. After getting the ultimate co-sign from Meek Mill, Kur released a slew of highly regarded tracks and mixtapes including a collaborative project with Harlem MC Dave East. With standout cuts like “33 Shots," "Lion Hearted" and "I Don't Give A F**k,” and his latest “Crack,” Kur is poised to take the rap game by storm with his street narratives, raw honesty, and rapid-fire delivery.
I sat down with Kur to talk about his upcoming project entitled Shakur, growing in Philly (Uptop), his creative process as an MC, and why he feels it’s important to stay grinding in the game.
AllHipHop: The Philly Hip-Hop scene has always been diverse, and it has a great history. From Schooly D, The Fresh Prince, Black Thought, Beanie Sigel, State Property, and so many others. How has the legacy of Philly hip-hop influenced your approach to music?
Kur: The Philly legacy of MC’s definitely has influenced me. I remember riding in the car with my mom and she would be playing Cassidy who was killing at the time. So, when I actually met these people, and they was like, “Yo, you hot,” that meant I must really be hot because I grew up listening to them. It meant the world to me to get the co-sign from some of the Philly legends.
AllHipHop: Indeed. I know you’re from the Uptown (Uptop) section of Philly. Tell me about the uniqueness of that part of the city and how growing up there shaped you?
Kur: I feel like it’s unique in its own way because people might take Uptown the wrong type of way, you know based off how it looks. It may not look like the worst area, but a pile of sh** be going down around there for real.
I feel like the uniqueness of Uptown helped me to paint a picture of what it’s really like and how it all goes down there. I wanted people from different neighborhoods to be like “yo, the same sh** that’s going down in my hood, is going down in his.” Everybody has their picture of Uptown and I just wanted to paint my own.
AllHipHop: You have a very descriptive, intense style of lyricism. In your own words, how would you describe your style?
Kur: Intense would be the way I would describe it too. Yeah, I’m trying to grow as an artist but sometimes that street is like, “F**k it, to get back to the raw sh**.” So, my style is raw, aggressive, and hungry, you what I'm saying? That’s how I would describe me style.
AllHipHop: What’s your thoughts on the current Philly hip-hop scene?
Kur: You know, it much better now that when I first started. It’s a bunch of talent coming out of Philly and their always has been hot rappers coming from Philly. Listen, I be happy to see other rapper’s coming up too. I'm embrace mothef***ers that’s coming up. I mean you don't even gotta have a whole clout behind you and all that sh**. If I f*** with it organically, I just reach out to see what’s good. I feel like the scene is doing way better than it was before because multiple people getting shine.
AllHipHop: Now tell me how the feeling was when you went on Twitter and saw that Meek Mill shouted you out? Did you a relationship with Meek before that?
Kur: Nah, we didn’t have no relationship before. I remember when I saw it, it was on a Thursday and I just finished recording this record called “33 Shots.” I dropped it that night and we posted it online. When I use to drop tracks, me and my homies use to ride around and listen to the track that I dropped and look at it from a fan’s perspective like we wasn’t nice. So, no bullsh**, when Meek tweeted it, we almost crashed the car like, “Oh sh** this nigga tweeted it?”
You gotta think coming into this sh**, you don't know how is going to go, if people are gonna get with you are not. So, to have Meek think my s***was hot was a major stamp for sure. That made me know it was real. We made some songs together. We been rocking together ever since.
AllHipHop: Out of all your material, I love your project with Dave East. I consider you too in similar spaces as the next generation of MC’s for both of your respective cites. Yall have great chemistry together. How did you two link up?
Kur: The day I signed with E1 (Entertainment One) he hit me and said, “Slide to the studio.”
He told me he was trying to knock this tape out in a day. But I’m not gonna lie to you, when I record it literally takes me like 40 hours to write a verse. So, I’m like, “Damn a whole joint in one day?” But I couldn’t back down from a challenge, so I was like, “Come on let's go.” I went over there we knocked out like three records.
When I was done, it was like four in the morning, so I was like f**k this, I'm going back to Philly. We only had two or three joints done and I'm surprised we got those done in a day. So, when I left, East texted me like, “Damn bro, I'm trying to get this shit done.” We only got like maybe two or three records anyway because I think we only have like five records on there. So, East came out to Philly and we knocked out two or three more records. No bullsh**, we really did that in two days, and I feel like it could have been 10 times harder if we would have took our time but being under that sort of pressure, he was like “If I don't get it done man, we ain’t never gonna get it done.” We banged out that project in a couple days.
AllHipHop: Your newest track “Crack” is a banger for sure. Tell me how you came up with the concept?
Kur: I felt like it was a more polished version of myself. Rich Nyce directed the video. I was trying to be like a more polished version of myself and show my growth as an artist. I still came with the intense, aggressive style I’m known for. I just wanted the streets to know that I got some fire coming.
AllHipHop: What inspires you to create?
Kur: You know what? Somebody just asked me that. I was just like, I feel like it's just everything. It's to get to this point it's like, why would you give up now?
The rap game comes on a lot of sh**. I mean like it is some good, you get a lot of light, but it comes with a lot of sh** you know. People don't really see that so it's like as much as you sacrifice and to give up now would be crazy. That's what really inspires from day to day to get up off my ass. I got a homie that’s locked up and if I give up, how's it gonna be for him? You know what I mean? That’s why I do what I do.
AllHipHop: Lastly, what other projects are you working on? I see you hitting the road for some dates.
Kur: Yeah, I’m excited about dropping my first full-length project entitled Shakur. I got some dope music that’s gonna be on there. I’m on the Between Somewhere tour with Token right now. I love performing for my fans and this tour has been fire! Me and Token been killing. Be on the lookout because I got some heat coming for yall.