Moruf by Matt Jeffery
Last Summer, a living rapper by the name of Moruf Adewunmi made his way into my iTunes library, a task not so difficult due to my heavy, musical index finger. The last few years has seen a massive influx of so called ‘smalltime’ or ‘underground’ rappers. Artists which a friend of a friend of a friend always had a connection to. We hear about a new mixtape release every few days anyway, how could one possibly search through and find the up and comers, the Aubrey Grahams of 2011 or 2012? The truth is its really not all that hard to know what you’re likely to keep in your library and the tapes that are going to end up in the Flocka Flame pile. You know what’s what after two or three tracks from any tape you see on a Hypebeast forum or Madbury feature.
This mixtape won’t change your life but it will make you smile and possibly restore a little faith in the Hip Hop making its way out of the East Coast.
Moruf or ‘Moo’ as he is affectionately known, is not your average NJ rapper, clinging to New York stereotypes and urban ideas. The production on his tracks alone sets him apart from half the mixtape artists entering the game. Smooth samples and tight beats complement Moo’s storyteller rhymes so simply but so effectively, like the production and samples are bespoke for this young man’s talent. The age of boastful, gangsta rap is coming to a close, making a nice little niche for rappers with humility and a real story to tell, harking back to the lyrical tales of Slick Rick and Mos Def. The man realises reality and everyday issues are the ideas that draws listeners in. In his interview with Nativhype, he says that his entry into the Hip Hop world was due to him realising that people wanted to hear the average mans stories.
Moruf places a lot of emphasis on not over-repping his town in his interview and performance with Tone: “I’m from New Jersey […] and I embrace everything else”. He tries to show that his Nigerian upbringing and his cultural searchings add as much to his writing as his hometown does. He had to mention the NY link and said “New York inspired me, but New Jersey inspired me every day of my life”. Positivity has played a huge part in his life and it shows in his work ethic, spurring him to inspire others when making tracks. If any of you have ever seen him live or footage from any of his shows, his energy and enthusiasm keep the crowd hyped through his library of quality material.
A lot of rap music nowadays is dedicated to explaining or displaying how ‘real’ one is. I’m not entirely sure how ‘real’ can be defined in the rap game but I’m almost certain Mr Adewunmi has it. Making Hip Hop is his escape for a creative holding down a job at Radio Shack and attending Kean University in Union, New Jersey. In an interview with thatgoodgoodblog Moo explains that he tries to keep his obligations in balance and if he has too much time to himself, he feels he’s not doing enough: “I feel I was born to keep myself busy…for now at least. It’s a part of the grind I would say.” For an artist to have this work ethic whilst being so early on his his career shows a willingness to succeed from Moruf that will hopefully have him crafting music for years to come.
“I say, ‘Welcome to that Garden State of Mind’.”