April 20, 2019

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Murda Beatz, an ‘Alien’ in Rap, Can’t Stop Making Hits

Murda Beatz, an ‘Alien’ in Rap, Can’t Stop Making Hits
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Boi-1da, Drake’s go-to producer, credited Murda for his relentlessness, both socially and musically. And he said the unlikeliness of Murda’s career often worked in his favor. “It’s just so interesting that this little white kid from Niagara, who kind of looks like Shaggy from ‘Scooby Doo,’ is making these hard trap beats,” he said. “It looks crazy, but people love it. And Murda can always back it up with the music.”

The rapper G-Eazy, who took Murda on tour as a D.J. opener this summer, added in a text message: “He’s almost like an alien because his origins don’t seem to make a lot of sense. He’s from the middle of nowhere in Canada, but somehow he’s making some of the most culturally relevant music.”

In the studio, Murda can be easily distracted by, say, putting in an order for wings or hopping on the phone with an incarcerated rapper to play him unreleased music. But when it’s time to create, he’ll futz with a MIDI Keyboard melody or a drum sound with savant-like focus. “When he works it’s almost like he’s unconscious, and the music just makes itself,” G-Eazy said.

So even while Murda has considered slowing his pace in favor of longevity, it’s proven hard to stop the itch. His beats are still popping up on nearly every major rap release of the moment, including Future and Juice WRLD’s collaborative mixtape and Quavo of Migos’s solo debut, where Murda has four songs, including one somewhat bafflingly featuring chopped-up vocals from Madonna. He recently sent more beats to Drake, he said, and hoped for another hit soon with Cardi B.

Any decline in productivity seemed unlikely, for now, if one studio session over the summer was any indication. It was past 2 a.m. and a producer that Murda had recruited for his Murda Gang collective offered tentatively, “Let’s aim for five beats tonight.”

Murda shot back: “Let’s aim for 10.”

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