Album: No Pressure Label: Def Jam Producer: Erick Sermon
Erick Sermon: “Murray was brung over to me by K-Solo. He brought him to my house. This is during EPMD, in 1991. And again, I heard one line on Murray. He said, 'Let's squash the beef, cook it, and we all can get fat.' I'm like, 'Huh?!?!?' I immediately took him. Same way I took Reggie. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
“And he had rhymes after rhymes after rhymes. Him and Reggie just had a whole bunch of rhymes. So if I got beats, it's a producer's dream. Whitney Houston being a dope singer is a producer's dream. Those guys had rhymes. If I had beats, all they had to do was put the rhymes on them. And I had enough beats to go on.
Keith Murray was supposed to be one of the prolific MCs in the game. If his career had gone straight without all the confusion and [going to jail]. I'd never seen that type of impact by an MC. From Puffy calling him, from him hanging out with Nas. He had Biggie Smalls in the hood [on Long Island]. He impacted the Totals and the Mary J. Bliges.
“Murray was a thing where he had other things going on with him. He was supposed to be one of the prolific MCs in the game. If his career had gone straight without all the confusion and [going to jail].
"I'd never seen that type of impact by an MC. From Puffy calling him, from him hanging out with Nas. He had Biggie Smalls in the hood [on Long Island]. He impacted. The Totals, Mary J. Bliges. He was one of those people, like, 'What the fuck is that?'
“He was singing and rhyming. He was like, 'Oooh, I might lose my cool, and break fool, and pull out my 'get busy' tool.' You know, 'I rhyme like a mad journalist...' What was that? Dangerous.
“Brett Ratner, the big film director, that's who shot 'Stay Real' and 'Hostile.' He's one of my good friends. Russell [Simmons] wanted to sign Keith Murray. We ended up getting in a big argument at the 'Hostile' video shoot because I ended up signing Murray to Jive. But I didn't know he liked Keith Murray. Usually, if I had an MC, they'd be like, 'Yo, we want that.' But no one said shit.
“Jeff Fenster and Jeff Sledge and Barry Weiss [at Jive] liked him. I went to where people liked [my artists.] Def Jam didn't want Das EFX, but Sylvia Rhone got it. And she won. Russell just automatically thought Keith Murray was coming there. That could've been my fault too. But since nobody said nothing to me, I didn't think to go to Def Jam. But Murray ended up going to Def Jam years later.”