Murs and Fashawn On Their Kinship and Their New Album
California-bred rappers Murs and Fashawn have much in common. They're both former graffiti writers, skateboarders and independent-minded rappers who have affinities for collaborating with one specific producer per album. But they're also more than a decade apart in age -- Murs is 34, Fashawn 23.
Fashawn and Murs
At first glance, their new album, This Generation, out today, might seem to speak on the divide between old and young hip-hop heads. Not so, Fashawn tells us recently. In fact, it alludes to a philosophy of all-inclusiveness and seeks to knock down the imaginary walls between generations erected by the media.
Ahead of their free show tonight at Amoeba Records celebrating the release of their album and National Voter Registration Day, we talked to the duo about having children, the increasing disappearance of regionalism in rap and voting for the first time.
How did you and Murs decide to do this project?
Fashawn: Originally Beatnik and K-Salaam were going to do an album with Murs, but one of the parties wanted to do something different. Add someone to the mix. My name came about and a light bulb popped up in their head. Murs did his parts in Arizona and I was in California recording in my living room.
It seems like you and Murs have a really good energy together.
I agree. We relate in a lot of ways even though he's like a decade older than me. Both emcees, former graffiti writers, both skate. That's like my big brother. I respect and admire him. Dude's a cool cat. And I'm easy to get along with. I respect his audacity. I feel I do the same, maybe not to that extent.
I've always thought of you as an old soul.
Word. I don't know how to respond to that. We've all been here before, in a spiritual sense. I'm just trapped in a 23-year-old body with tattoos all over it and shit. I feel like I've seen it all before. Or seen enough.
So the record is about the division between the generations--
Actually, it's about the similarities and how these so-called generational gaps are imaginary. Doesn't matter how old we are, we all live in the same age. We still have to deal with the residue of what our forefathers did. We all have to co-exist. Everything that is this generation. That's why we chose to call it [This Generation].
Do you think these generational divides are just set up by the media and socialogists in order to keep distance between people?
The answer lies in the question. We're already divided. Black, white, Republican, Democrat. There's enough separation.
Sure, most of society is set up to say, "You're not like me, so we can't agree." Not to rhyme--
That was dope. [laughs]
Are you really invested in politics?
Nah, that's the funny thing. Most people assume I am. I'm not even registered to vote. I think I'm gonna register at the Rock the Vote thing. [Laughs] It's only appropriate. That might be a good idea. To exercise that freedom, to have the option. I want to at least have it and have something to do with the new election. I feel ashamed I didn't have anything to do with Barack and the last election.
Your saying you're going to vote might have more impact than your actual vote.
Right. Who knows? I overlook a lot of freedoms and I feel like a lot of kids do too. Being black in America -- and I hate to even bring that up -- but I feel like the system really ignored us and didn't give an eff about us. So I never really cared about voting or thought it would be effective in any way. But I feel like as I get older and see all these different props, how they affect my life, having a daughter -- I'm trying to make the effort to change.
You heard about Mitt Romney at the fundraiser when he said 47% of people depend on the government and--
[laughing] Hold on. 47% of the people depend on the government? I'ma stop right there and say 100% of the people in this country depend on the government. [laughing] That's all I have to say about that. Rich or poor, billionaire or Section 8, we all depend on the government, like it or not. He definitely doesn't have my vote, just for saying that.
Our interview with Murs is below.