Los Angeles rapper MURS will soon be releasing his ninth studio album, Have a Nice Life.

MURS On ‘Have A Nice Life’

Having released his first solo album back in 1997, MURS has been in the industry making hip-hop music for nearly two decades. For Have a Nice Life, the artist was able to explore and share the essence of the rich years he’s lived thus far.

“I feel like I’ve been through so much. I feel like as a man I can finally do an album. I have something to say. I have so many life experiences to draw upon,” MURS told uInterview exclusively. “We’ve adopted two kids, I’ve been married, I’ve seen the world, I’ve seen the world with my wife. So much has changed. Just becoming a father and a husband. Sonically, I finally have a canvas that is me. Someone that grew up, that knows me and knows what I sound like and I finally know myself through all the experiences I have.”

As for the title of the album, MURS has a fondness for the duality of the phrase, which can be said with sincerity or with derision.

“[Have a Nice Life] is the best way to say something nice to someone, and it’s also the best way to tell someone to f*** off,” said MURS. “It can go both ways, and I think the duality of who I am with being an inner city kid that was into different things there has always been like two sides to me. I think that was the perfect title for this album: I wish the best for everybody truly even if I don’t like you, I love you, and have a nice life.”

Have A Nice Life was produced by “Chandelier” co-producer and co-writer Jesse Shatkin, who also happens to be a childhood friend of Murs. Together, MURS and Shatkin worked on track “No More Control,” which addresses the “Black Lives Matter” movement that evolved following the deaths of Eric Garner and Mike Brown. Aside from the work, MURS was also just happy to spend time with his longtime pal.

“Working with Jesse after all these years was amazing,” MURS admitted. “Just hanging out it was like we were just hanging out everyday man, and for me hanging out with someone I’ve known for a long time, which is rare for me these days. I don’t get to hang out and with [having] kids and what I do for a living, so it was great. We had to build in an hour or so everyday just for talking and catching up and bulls***ing.”

With Have a Nice Life, MURS is unabashedly looking to achieve the mainstream, commercial success that has eluded him throughout much of his career. As an artist, MURS believes that now is the time for him to chase the dream of achieving broader recognition – but organically, on his own terms.

“I’ve never gone at music, in my 20-some odd years of rapping, gone at it with the idea of, “Hey, I do want a Grammy. I do want to be on the radio. I do want to be mainstream.” I do want to do it on my terms and it’s possible,” MURS told uInterview. “I have a canvas that’s not stretched; it’s an organic thing. So, hell yeah. I definitely am going after mainstream success.”

Have a Nice Life is slated for release May 19.


Q: What can we expect from this album? -

The album is called Have a Nice Life and it’s the biggest sounding album I’ve done. It’s mostly produced by my friend Jesse Shatkin, who I grew up with. He recently co-wrote and co-produced Chandelier for Sia. We grew up together and kind of went our separate ways musically and for us to reunite for this record I think is perfect. At this point, for Strange Music, one of my most visible records in years, kind of my return to a big label pushing my album after the Warner Brothers album. I just kind of did art for art's sake for a while and I wasn't really attempting to compete for any space. This is the biggest sound I have. It may be a little pop-y. I feel like I’ve been through so much. I feel like as a man I can finally do an album. I have something to say. I have so many life experiences to draw upon. We’ve adopted two kids, I’ve been married, I’ve seen the world, I’ve seen the world with my wife. So much has changed. Just becoming a father and a husband. Sonically, I finally have a canvas that is me. Someone that grew up, that knows me and knows what I sound like and I finally know myself through all the experiences I have, so coming into my own.

Q: What does the album’s title mean? -

Have a Nice Life is something I came up with, that I started saying to people. It’s the best way to say something nice to someone, and it’s also the best way to tell someone to f*** off. It can go both ways, and I think the duality of who I am with being an inner city kid that was into different things there has always been like two sides to me. I think that was the perfect title for this album: I wish the best for everybody truly even if I don’t like you, I love you, and have a nice life. And life is too short to hold onto anything. The best thing to say to anyone, I feel like, without putting any negative vibes out there.

Q: What was your collaboration with producer Jesse Shatkin like? -

Working with Jesse after all these years was amazing. Originally, we have a mutual friend called Kosha Dillz, and he produced his album and I was doing a verse for Kosha and I said, “You know what, Jesse? For the Stranger record I want you to produce it because I started rapping in your mom’s house, it’d be perfect.” And cool, a couple months later, I got off tour and I called him. He’s like, “I got time but I’m kinda busy with the record going platinum.” I was like, “What record?” And he told me and I was like “What the f***! Do you still even want to do this underground rap s*** with me?” And he’s like of course. So, for him, it was more a break from being with super intense ultra mega famous people trying to make a hit record. Just hanging out it was like we were just hanging out everyday man, and for me hanging out with someone I’ve known for a long time, which is rare for me these days. I don’t get to hang out and with kids and what I do for a living, so was great. We had to build in an hour or so everyday just for talking and catching up and bulls***ing.

Q: Do you feel that his album will be more commercially accessible than your previous work? -

Yeah, my goal was to make something for once. I’ve never gone at music, in my 20-some odd years of rapping, gone at it with the idea of, “Hey, I do want a Grammy. I do want to be on the radio. I do want to be mainstream.” I do want to do it on my terms and it’s possible. And with someone like Tech n9ne leading the way like, he says, “The mainstream is going Tech. Tech doesn’t go mainstream.” It’s kind of like making the mainstream go strange. I feel like Macklemore and Kendrick, it’s so wide now. Before, being a kid from LA you were either a gandt or the pharcyde and that was it and I feel like there’s this whole lane. And amazingly enough my friend is one, to me, one of the best producers out. So I have a canvas that’s not stretched; it’s an organic thing. So, hell yeah. I definitely am going after mainstream success.

Q: What does your song ‘No More Control’ say about the Black Lives Matter movement? -

‘No More Control’ was a song that we did. It was the first song that Jessie and I did and it’s kind of defining of who I am. The third verse was added on because I feel like the hip hop community and even black america on a whole is missing out on opportunities to drive home something that’s bigger than race. The cultural violence in our country is really disconcerting. It’s a tragic thing and instead of getting someone from another race to march with you saying “black lives matter” it’s an opportunity to say “all lives matter” like, “Hey, you know I thank you for identifying with our struggle, but it’s all of us here. Whether it’s Connecticut and there’s children dying and they’re white or people dying everyday. It’s not just about police brutality it’s bigger than that.” We have a serious problem and an addiction almost to violence in America, and so I felt like that view wasn’t being represented and I just wanted to get that out there. ‘No More Control’ is kind of also the old saying, “He who angers you controls you.” And, it’s not about being angry; it’s about really coming up with solutions to me. It’s not about marching anymore; it’s not about hashtags, it’s just about being more kind and aware. We’re sick. I’m sick you know. I love UFC, I love wrestling you know. We got to find a way to come to terms with that.

Q: Are you currently planning any upcoming work with 3 Melancholy Gypsies? -

No, I’m probably not. I’m at a point in my life where being married and being a father, I do a lot of compromising at home. Being in a group and successful requires a lot of compromising. This is like, hip hop has now become my man cave where I go in and do what the f*** I want, when I want and no more collaborations, but we text each other still. We’re friends, we grew up together. They’re friends with Jesse as well. Maybe a song or something here or there, but I don’t see an album.

Q: Do you have any other projects coming up? -

I’m just looking at doing another record hopefully. Me and Jesse have songs that didn’t make this album that I think are great and I was going for a certain feel, so when I get off the road I’m gonna go back in with him and just keep creating, and my friends Mayday, who do a lot of the production, go back in with him. And, I’m always working on being a better rapper. I feel like it’s something I do everyday. I’m writing everyday. So, yeah the next thing would be the next album. Hopefully get bigger and better. I don’t know any other other big projects. Just touring. This Tech n9ne niche is a big deal for me.