Keith Murray: The most beautiful thing in the world.

It was 1993 when I first heard Keith Murray. I had bought the E-Double solo joint on cd. I thought I was king right then, only kid I knew who had this was my best mate Ian. We went back and forth a lot on releases, who bought what etc etc......

Overall I liked the album but in my heart I really wanted to hear PMD swing in on a verse and blow up the spot. But that's a whole other article I guess: E vs. P, who is best?

So back to Keith Murray......

'Hostile' is one of those classic Erick Sermon productions, thick with the funk that makes speakers rumble. (many times I got told to turn the bass down on my system) This is a joint needs to be bumped loud. After E's verse is done we get what can only be described as a boxing style introduction from Jeff Stewart to Mr Murray:

Keith Murray's, comin from the North South East and Left
Rhymin to death, makin a world when I take a deep breath
With a body boom bash, my paragraph a trey-deuce
Human behavior in a psychopath
Ooooh, I might lose my cool, and break fool
and pull out my get busy tools
I write like a mad journalist
to funk, that's deeper than a bottomless spliff (that's my word)
The most beautifullest thing in this world
is my notion, for murderous poetry in motion
And the illiotic shit I come across
form a leash you're trapped in with explosive force
I push your head through the cracks of sanity
and leave your brain doin a bid in purgatory
It's ninety-six degrees in the shade
before I catch blood on my blade
I take my frustration to the stage
and gets open dope and stupid bumblin rumblin tracks
When I rap my jams be packed like a laundromat
My context'll wreck your whole concept
Cause my delivery is so complex
And I'm inter-galactic on plastic
with the superdistinguish that I kick
I'm high strung at the top of my lung
with my tongue makin hardcore niggaz wanna get dumb
My dialogue comes straight from the slums
Damnage to your medula, cerebrum and cerebellum
if ya got a crew ya better tell em

After that Jeff Stewart lets us know that Keith will be dropping an album very soon and to stay tuned. I, like many others were eager to hear that album and first single.
Who knew that his first commercially released verse would contain the title of both of those......

As a kid in the UK we would get dubs of tapes of radio shows from NY and we had a lot of pirate stations in london and tapes would filter down to us but the man who had radio on lock for me and my friends was Tim Westwood. I would get tapes of his Capital show and then after he moved to Radio 1 I taped them myself. Now I know he gets a lot of stick from people & media but to me he is a very important part of my Hip Hop history. Back then if Westwood played it on his show then it must be a classic or was about to be one. His finger was on the pulse of NY and all the DJ's he ran with from over the pond. I wish I had my tapes of the shows but they have long since gone. 

I knew that when Keith's single dropped it would be automatically on Westwood. I wasn't wrong. It was 1994 when 'The Most Beautiful Thing In the World' dropped. 

The first thing that got hold of me was the infectiousness of the E-Double beat, it was smooth and yet rugged. It felt like Erick's work but with a freshness that had maybe been missing from his solo album. The rubs that lead into the beat make your head nod as if you have no control over it. For 3 minutes & 46 seconds you are taken on a journey by Keith and his intelligent hard rock rhyme style. To this day I still don't know how he fits all the lyrics in to such a short amount of time without missing a step:

Y'all mythological niggaz is comical
The astronomical is comin' through like the flu bombing you
And embalmin' in your crew too
With the musical mystical magical you know how I do
With word attack skills and vocabulary too
My rendition of this Edition is all brand New
You're through, I make the planetarian like Doctor Who
So Who

Born to get tripped on, word is bond
I'm kickin' rhymes 'til the A.M. vultures swarm
Not Quincy but I'm Back on the Block and not sellin' crack
I'm comin' in with the fat funk flows and tracks
So what you sayin' black, with all that yackedy yack
My artifacts can't be beat with bats
I'm sayin', I eat up everything up on the menu
And bend you and send you swayin', to be continued

The most beautifullest thing in this world, is just like that
I get in ya
The most beautifullest thing in this world, is just like that
I get in ya
The most beautifullest thing in this world, is just like that
I get in ya
The most beautifullest thing in this world, is just like that
I get in ya

Spur of the moment opponents are suspects
Caught up in precipitation reign of the techniques
I speak my concepts freak
The ich-ni-son-shi funk figures of speech
Now that shit is in the open, I'm open, tokin', scopin'
Waitin' for the next nigga to get opened on
And break him down like an organic compound
That's the weight of the world as the Earth goes round

Now, how the f**k you sound?
I represent my clique, Microphone Pound
You better pack your leather, dope, or medication for the shakin'

What you folks want? Yeah
We got the funk, so come on down
What you folks want? Yeah
We got the funk, so come on down
What you folks want?


Fast forward to today the 30th of March 2012 and the reason I've just written the above. It's because I have been going through boxes in my garage and come across a Jive records promo of the single. I didn't know I had it let alone know HOW I got it. A very strange but pleasant surprise. It got my thinking about the past and I felt compelled to share. 

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  1. Bang3.4.12

    another dope article from C. Cammack, 1st Nas now Keith Murray, i always share similar views with the writer, any pics of the promo? please share!! Keith might be slept on on coming from the Def Squad but i feel his delivery & voice stand out enuff that will & has cemented his spot in hip-hop looking forward to the next mc thats featured, great read as always

    1. Thanks for reminding me. I just added the photo of the Promo tape. No doubt that Keith Murray brought much flavor to the game. He definitely came from a solid camp and contributed quality hip hop!

  2. jjohnson4.4.12

    Well said @CAMMACK979! Keith really sounded comfortable on the mic. Even when he was going all dictionary/thesaurus on us, it didn't feel forced. As far as E double vs. P… that would be a good one! Neither emcee makes anyone's top rapper list to be honest, but as EPMD… the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. Another dope feature, Strictly Cassette! Keep up the good work!

    1. Agreed! He really had an ill way with words. Id say that it was "mostly the voice." I remember opening up for him 2 years ago at Zanzibar in Santa Monica. Keith was chillin before the show and watched me while I was doing sound check. The nights headliners included Fashawn & Exile but they brought out Evidence, Alchemist, Oh No and Planet Asia as well. At the end of the show, everybody was on stage giving props to Exile after ripping the house down. Keith Murray busts outta nowhere and screams "Don't sleep on Phillipine dude...he got beats!" pointing at me. I still got the stage flick of me, Murray and Exile somewhere.

  3. Justiceson10.4.12

    What up Chris? As with the Nas piece, this had me feeling very nostalgic. I remember when I first heard Hostile too. It made me not want to finish the rest of the album. I rewound Keith's verse on Hostile several times because I was so intrigued by this new voice with the razor sharp flow and lyrics, heavy with $20 words. It also stood out that he was using his government name, which wasn't common, if ever done back then. Eventually I finished the album, but that line, "96 degrees in the shade, before I catch blood on my blade..." stuck with me and left me wanting more. Ahh, the good old days. Dope piece.


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