Music is life! Hip-Hop is more than a mere profession; it’s an encompassing passion, just ask Nick “MURS” Carter. Before his passport reflected a montage of global experiences, his life has been submerged in sound. Yes, prior to orchestrating annual Hip-Hop festivals, the West coast MC, spent years working at his South Central Los Angeles, family-owned, dry-cleaning business. Cocooned amid the cleaning cacophony—fans whirring, bells dinging (announcing arrivals), customers dictating instructions—more often than not, MURS was in the back enveloped in rhyme. The headphones that he always wore became a teleportation device, instantly transporting him to his personal land of harmony. This emerging icon is capable of completing any job as long as it’s accompanied by a musical score.

“Music is what I love. Not only doing it [as a] contributor, or artist, or legend, or figure—whatever—I’m a fan! I’ve always been a fan; that will never change. I love this music through and through, the good, the bad, and the ugly!” ForNever with , 9th Wonder, and The Melrose with ,Terrace Martin, are the most recent offerings from MURS’ vault of lyrical jewels. This refined wordsmith, grants, access to the Top5 five MCs that made him become a loyal Hip-Hop supporter. I want to get a succinct version of your Top 5 Dead Or Alive.

MURS: A succinct version—alright— how are you doing ma’am; I’m sorry. I’m good, how are you doing?

MURS: I’m alright. It was—I’ll get it again. Also, will you give me a little juice as to why you put these guys in your Top 5?


MURS: Ice Cube and LL, because they’ve done more than any rapper. They’ve extended the boundaries on their own, along with, Will Smith, but they’re better rappers than Will Smith. They’re still relevant today. I think that either of them can still rap a decent verse and perform a decent show. To this day, both of them also rap still, because they love it. And that’s a good thing, you know, because it’s definitely not about a pay check—a million records or the making of just one movie?


MURS: If he’s doing “4,3,2,1” [featuring Method Man, Redman & DMX]; you know, I think LL Cool J is just dynamic!


MURS: Ice Cube is a godfather of Gangster Rap and the whole West coast movement. On any of Ice Cube’s modern releases, I think that you can listen to what he says. He can still rap and he still gives a f***!


MURS: He’s just, an all around, most solid rapper. He sounds like no one; he’s prolific! His business acumen is out of this world. He’s a great family man and entrepreneur. He has his own chain of Fat Burgers. He was the first rapper to get an independent label deal. A lot of people don’t recognize him for that—before Master P, before anyone—it was 40 with Sick Wid It. He got a seven or eight figure deal from Jive in ’92, which is unheard of. And still, at 40 years old, he’s still dropping records today! To me, he’s still untouched lyrically and stylistically.


MURS: Juvenile has always been amazing to me—underrated and amazing! I definitely think he was the greatest rapper to groom Lil Wayne; he definitely groomed and prepped Lil Wayne. He’s always been him. I love people who are unique and always stay them. When you hear Juvenile, you know it’s him. He doesn’t deviate, but he still remains innovative, without deviating from the core of who he is.


MURS: It’s always been Jay, but I think that recent stuff from Jay has broke my heart a little bit. But for me, Amplified, from Q-Tip, is probably my favorite solo album of all time. He’s a dynamic performer. I like his stuff, and I had to have a East coast rapper in there, somewhere. It’s also that, too.

Honorable Mentions

I have to mention Ms. Lauryn Hill and Andre 3000. But, they’ve never made solo Rap records; so, I can’t put them in the running.

The Sidebar

MURS—Meticulous, Unrelenting, Repertoire of Skills; or perhaps, Most, Underrated, Rapper, Standing—what acronym accurately substantiates what MURS brings to Hip-Hop? He champions its essence by creating festivals like, Paid Dues, and challenges his peers to supersede mere Rap clichés. He demonstrates its purest essence. MURS, an enduring example of an MC, conjures hope that Hip-Hop’s Golden Years may yet again be revisited.