|Label:||48 Tracks Entertainment/Tru Records|
|Next Project:||Untitled New Album (Spring '08)|
|Twitter:||C-Murder on Twitter|
It’s been almost exactly ten years since rapper C-Murder released his debut album “Life or Death.” With hardly any nationwide promotion the album reached platinum status, and along with releases from his brothers Master P and Silkk The Shocker, the now-nonexistent No Limit Records reached extraordinary heights.
To say that times have since changed, however, is an understatement. Following a conviction for second degree murder, the New Orleans born rapper was sent to prison. After the charges were dropped, C-Murder completed a court-ordered house arrest and was a free man. Unbelievably, the case was reopened, and it will go to trial once again this June.
In an exclusive interview with DJBooth‘s DJ “Z,” C-Murder steps inside the booth to talk about the trials and tribulations that have led him to a more distinguished rap style, the thought of life in prison, and his long-awaited new album (title now pending) which features the smash single, “One False Move” featuring Akon.
Listen to the Interview
C-Murder Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on y’all? It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth is an MC who has constantly reminded us that death is just around the corner. A part of No Limit Records during their heyday and currently preparing the release of his new album, “Screaming 4 Vengeance,” please welcome C-Murder – how you doin’?
C-Murder: What’s up with you, Z? As usual, I’m chillin’ down here, you heard me?
DJ Booth: I thank you for taking the time to join me inside the DJ Booth. The new album, as I mentioned in the open, “Screaming 4 Vengeance,” will discuss the circumstances surrounding the jail time you did for a murder that you claim you have not committed. Has music been the best medicine, C, to cope with the stresses of this life-altering situation?
C-Murder: Music is my release. So without it, who knows where I’d be. A lot of these other cats that’s in the game be, that’s why I don’t let nothing that’s goin’ on in society affect my music when I get in that booth. That’s how I release all the stress, pain, everything; I put it all out like that.
DJ Booth: Our readers have mentioned that your new material, in particular “One False Move,” featuring Akon, is some of the best work they’ve heard from you during your entire career. Do you agree with that assessment?
C-Murder: Man, I totally agree! I just put my whole passion, my whole heart into this album. And I just see in myself, that my whole game, my whole verbal use of words and all this stuff, has been stepped up. I’m in the zone, and I’m lettin’ them have it like that.
DJ Booth: Southern hip hop was essentially put on the map because of two labels: No Limit and Cash Money. Do you receive the credit that you deserve for essentially being part of the rap prominence in cities like New Orleans, Atlanta, or Houston?
C-Murder: Oh, definitely. No matter where I’m at, what city, what state, other cats that’s in the game also, they run it to me like that. “We appreciate it,” you know, “You really held it down,” “You deserve your prize – much love to you,” you know what I’m saying? So it’s all good; the homies really show love and the people also, they realize that we did open doors, and give all the new cats that’s comin’ out, different ways to put their music out and capitalize from it. And even the promotion game that we had, they’ve taken advantage of that, too. So, my love to ‘em too – I’m proud of ‘em.
DJ Booth: Last month you lost a bid to dismiss the murder charges from the nightclub shooting in ‘02. Mentally, how are you moving forward, knowing this case is gonna go to trial in June?
C-Murder: Well, you know, we’re still under the gag [order], so I can’t talk on the case, but let me tell you something: me bein’ the man that I am, all I can do is take everything that happens in my life and move on with it, not let it get [me] down. You got your fate – doin’ the right thing is all good, and that’s how I live.
DJ Booth: You have been through a lot; you’ve gone through a trial, you’ve gone through jail time, a house arrest. Do you feel now you’re more mentally prepared to handle anything in life?
C-Murder: Yeah, I ain’t gonna lie. And that’s the truth, too: I’m mentally prepared! I mean, nothing surprises me anymore in life; I’ve been through too much, from a kid growin’ up in the projects, lookin’ at murders and all this, livin’ in the impoverished conditions that I was livin’ in. So, I’ve been through it all – whatever you can imagine I done been through, so there ain’t nothing else surprise me no more, you feel me?
DJ Booth: A lot of people say that performers, what they talk about in their music, their stage name and their overall image, it creates a mirror between reality and entertainment. Do you feel that all of this, in regard to what you’ve gone through legally, has hurt you in the court of public opinion?
C-Murder: Well, that’s just a part of life. You’re gonna have the haters, and the people who don’t understand you, and things that you’ve done and things that you’ve been through, and the way you express yourself. You can be on my level, as an artist; you can be on a smaller level as a high school kid, goin’ to school, havin’ problems, see what I’m sayin’? So I take this time, and I take all that negative stuff that they’re throwin’ at me, and I just roll with it, and I use it against them. So all I can do is just do the right thing, make the right moves, a lot of the positive stuff that I’m doin’ in the community and stuff like that, they don’t print it in the press. But once they see it, and people get a chance to meet me, talk to me face to face, their whole perception about me changes. That’s just a part of being ignorant; they don’t really know me, you know?
DJ Booth: Obviously, I’m sure you would not have wanted to go through any of these trials in order to put out new music, but being that you have had to go through all of this, do you think that it’s made your music that much better?
C-Murder: Yeah. Unfortunately, yeah. But as I say, you just have to take advantage of a bad situation, and use it to do some good. That’s how I look at it: all the problems and trials and tribulations I’ve been through, it made me really get into my music stronger and harder, and it motivated me a lot to show the world that it ain’t over for big dog – he can still handle his business and he still got it.
DJ Booth: When I say the phrase, “life in prison,” what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
C-Murder: First thing I think about is my homies that I know, that are sufferin’, that I haven’t seen, [who] are wakin’ up day to day livin’ in a cell, and eatin’ the worst food, and livin’ in the worst conditions. And I think about changing a lot of wrongdoings that are happening to a lot of the homies, that don’t have the finances or their own voice, you heard me? So when I hear that term I just start thinking about the movement that I’m ready to do.
DJ Booth: When you think about the position that you’re in, knowing what you’ve gone through and what you will go through, and knowing that you can speak to a large group of people, how important is it to get out the message to all of your young fans and listeners, that they need to stray through a different course, so they’re not in the same position as some of your friends, and the same position you are?
C-Murder: Man, that’s so important to me, because, when you get to know me, you know that I care about my homies from the hood, my homies from the streets, my homies that don’t have nobody to really give ‘em directions in life. I know personally that they’re gonna take the wrong direction eventually, and that’s why, when I wrote this novel, Death Around the Corner, it put me on the road. And when I’m on the road to do autograph signings and book readings and stuff like that, we also go to different schools – colleges and high schools and elementary schools – and have events where I’m speaking one-on-one to them, and basically just getting them to know my trials and tribulations in life and trying to direct them the right way, and letting them know some obstacles they’re gonna become faced with, that maybe they can hear what I say, and then later on when they’re put in that situation, they might change their mind and not do the wrong things and end up in a bad situation. I’m on that same path too, you feel me?
DJ Booth: Exactly. C, in 2005, you released, “The Truest Sh*t I Ever Said.” To this day, what one line have you rapped in any of your material that you were the most proud of ever writing?
C-Murder: Guess what, and that’s one of them right there! “Truest Sh*t I Ever Said,” because that’s so important to me for people to understand. Of course this rap is entertainment, at the end of the day, so I don’t understand why all of these politicians are pointin’ the finger at us. But at the same time I’m givin it to ‘em raw, I’m givin’ ‘em a story raw, so that they can see just how life really is. The ones that are not really in the streets, they wanna portray that they are. And then they give ‘em a message. I’m gonna give you the truth, but at the end of the day it’s a message. I’m not glorifying or glamorizing the streets, I’m just givin’ it to you how the news give it to you, raw, and I’m tryin’ to let you make a better decision and not to try to go out and be like me, or be like what I’m talkin’ about.
DJ Booth: You definitely have a lot more music left in your tank, nowhere near retirement, but, when all is said and done, and you are no longer in the music game, how would you like to be remembered?
C-Murder: I just want to be remembered, that I was one hundred percent with everybody I came in contact with, I was a good dude, I was T-R-U down, TRU to the bone. And I’m somebody that you also can look up to in a way, as I’ve said, tryin’ to do right, as far as in their community and their hood, bein’ right to their parents, goin’ to school, gettin’ an education, because those are a lot of things that I preach. And one thing that I know about me: I never was a hypocrite. Things that I say, I want you to do, and also I’m doin’ them myself, you know?
DJ Booth: Set by example, I couldn’t agree more. Why don’t you give everybody your website, or a MySpace page, so they can find out more about the upcoming album, the book you wrote, and everything you have goin’ on?
DJ Booth: Definitely. Well, listen: I wish you nothing but the best of luck. I thank you for joining me inside the DJ Booth, and I cannot wait to listen to, in full, the brand new album.
C-Murder: That’s what’s up – appreciate you!