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Underground Hype: KeshawnTheKing x Murk The Ruler

By: Carrick Wenke

Definitely a dynamic duo that feeds well off of each other both on the mic and off, it’s ironic that they each started out as solo artists. Before KeshawnTheKing joined forces with Murk The Ruler he was steadily dropping solo singles and collabs with Brocas Area. Before Murk The Ruler joined forces with KeshawnTheKing, he was wrapping up his solo project Coat Music, and coming back to Seattle from L.A.. Ever since they have teamed up on more than a handful of tracks, including “Walk It Out” and “Hold Me Back” which are in rotation on Soundcloud, and “Fuck It Up” which has gained a great live response on many occasions. I’m excited to see what these guys do this summer, whether it be something in correlation with their “Weekly Drop Fridays” weekly single release, or a (hopefully soon) full collaboration project. 

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Who are you? What do you wanna tell the world about yourself?
Murk The Ruler: I’m Murk The Ruler, I’m from Dallas, from the South.
KeshawnTheKing: I’m KeshawnTheKing and I want people to know I do shit myself and I don’t need your help. I really do though! Not tryna stunt on anybody, but I’m a one man band.
Murk: We’re renaissance people, we’re renaissance men. We’re here to have fun, we’re not here to work hard. We’re here to please our fans and have fun.

What/Who are your main inspirations for making music?
Murk: I feel like I have an era to describe my music, and style, and fashion, and everything about me. I’m a fuckin’ 90’s baby so I feel like the whole “Golden Era”, that whole 90’s era..
Keshawn: That’s what gave you the flavor you have now.
Murk: Exactly. Biggie, Tupac, Ma$e, P. Diddy, Busta Rhymes. All the people.
Keshawn: It’s a hard question for me to answer. Actually we just had an interview and someone asked me a similar question, and to be honest, I don’t really listen to music like that. I’ll hear songs like Playboi Carti’s “Magnolia”, and I’ll really fuck with the vibe of the song and that will give me inspiration to make a song with the same energy. So it’s not necessarily about the artist as much as the energy of the song and the vibe.

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Who are some producers you work with?
Murk: I work with 180dazz, from Toronto, pretty cool guy.
Keshawn: ChopGodLewi, he’s an artist from Canada as well. Kobe Ellis.
Murk: And we produce ourselves, too.
Keshawn: Yeah I’m a producer and engineer, so we produce and record ourselves and master our own shit.

Are you affiliated with any artists or crews?
Keshawn: Not necessarily, like we do reach out to other people for example the Toe Jam residents like Bujemane, Yung Fern, people who partake in that. We kinda reached out to some of those people, but other than that we’re just lowkey-ass cats who just do what we do. There’s not really too many people who seem to be taking it as seriously as we do. We’re here everyday, we literally make a song a day.

Who are some artists you wish to work with in the future?
Murk: Locally I would really like to work with, not Macklemore.
Keshawn: I have really had my eye on Ghoulavelii. I really like where his music is going and I’m interested in his personality and what his music is about, so he’s one local cat I wanna work with.
Murk: Outside of Seattle I would really like to work with FatManKey.
Keshawn: That’s true this nigga bumps KEY! everyday.

Is your bitch bad or boujee?
Murk: My bitch is boujee right now. She used to be bad, she has the potential to be bad, but she wants to act boujee and act like the world and I owe her something, when really we are the catch.
Keshawn: I don’t have a bitch, but my bitches are all bad. They all have self respect and can be boujee on the low low.

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Who are the top 4 most influential rappers in todays world?
Murk: Lil B, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane…
Keshawn: He doesn’t agree, but I say Drake.
Murk: Only for r’nb, we’re talking about trap rappers. I feel like the people who took Drake were like PNB Rock and PartyNextDoor.
Keshawn: But even then bro, we have written songs where we were feeling Drake vibes.
Murk: Kanye. Kanye, Wayne, Gucci, Lil B, Drake.
Keshawn: It’s weird that our generation is gonna be alive when Drake dies.

Murk you’re originally from Dallas, what were you doing before you linked up with Keshawn?
Murk: I was finishing Coat Music, I was getting done with my first project. I had just came back from L.A., my manager was outside around where Keshawn was hanging out at the time..
Keshawn: Do you want me to explain what happened?
Murk: Yeah.
Keshawn: I was half drunk at the time hanging out in Cap Hill hanging out with my homeboy Se7en, and we pull up to 7/11, and Murk’s homeboy pulls up to 7/11 in this Black Expedition and he’s like “Aye Murk”, and he thought I was Murk but I wasn’t so he tried to play it off and called me over and was trying to sell me a CD through the window, I get the information for Murk’s Instagram and we talk a little bit. So I hit up Murk the next day like “Hey I talked to your manager, you should hit me up”. He was fucking with a specific song I put out on Soundcloud and he was gonna give me a try, and when he came over here the first time that’s when we made “Walk It Out”.
Murk: He played “Walk It Out” and I was immediately on that shit. The rest is history. 

Keshawn, you’ve been doing “Weekly Drop Friday’s” for a couple months, can you explain to the readers what that is?
Keshawn: Yes, “Weekly Drop Fridays” is a way for me to challenge myself as an artist. Ever since I learned how to record myself it almost felt like it was too easy to make music. I started thinking “what is the next thing I can do?”, and then I started making a song every week, make sure it’s the best song I can make, and put it out every week. It’s really a self challenge thing. I was hoping more people would catch on to it and that would make them wanna put out a song a week.

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When Can we expect your next project to drop?
Keshawn: The next project is gonna be something we work on together, and you can expect that as soon as I stop doing Weekly Drop Fridays.
Murk: We want it to all be new music. We thought about putting some of the songs we’ve already put out on there, because some of these songs are classic. Out of the 5 or 6 songs we’ve done together, I feel like 3 or 4 have the potential to go all the way. I don’t wanna cheat the fans with those, I wanna give them a whole group of work. Maybe even a new sound.
Keshawn: We’re gonna vocalize it when we’re ready to start dropping our project. People are gonna know and we’re gonna start working.

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Anything Else?
Keshawn: All I can say is, don’t judge people based on how they look right away. I think people need to be giving local artists more time. Listen to their music, look at who they really are and listen to what they have to say. A lot of people who looked at us probably didn’t expect for us to be getting interviewed right now. I didn’t expect for this to happen…
Murk: I want people to be able to look at are work being the reach out. You will rarely hear us verbally reaching out to people or see us reaching out to people. I want our work to speak for us to a point where people wanna come to us.
Keshawn: I just want the people reading this to listen to our music and take it more seriously, because everything we say in our music is exactly what we want people to hear at that moment in time.

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