Local Wire

Murs @ The Clubhouse Music Venue

Though Murs got his start in L.A. in the early '90s, his message has always been anti-gangster, thumbing his nose at the violent outlook of gansta rap over beats that are just as infectious. His delivery is strong, clear, and honest, whether he's making social commentary about race and violence, discussing his personal struggles, or rapping about sexy ladies. He rose to fame with fellow rappers Aesop Rock and El-P as part of the Def Jux crew, which the latter co-founded in 1999. Until his 2003 debut on Def Jux, Murs rapped prolifically as part of several underground L.A. hip-hop groups. He struck out on his own a decade ago and has released several well-received solo records. Murs continues to collaborate, most notably with rapper Slug as the duo Felt, and with DJ and producer 9th Wonder, with whom he released last year's "Fornever." His most recent collaboration, though, is perhaps his most inspiring one to date. In February, Murs brought together Paid Dues Festival and Habitat for Humanity to construct new homes for deserving families in L.A.

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Travis Newbill