You can’t mention Detroit hip-hop without also mentioning Hex Murda. In case you didn’t know, he’s a legendary manager who has worked with the likes of Slum Village, Royce Da 5’9 and oversees the careers of Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, Danny Brown and more.
“Hex is the bridge between a lot of different families [in Detroit.]” Royce told TheUrbandaily.com in a 2009 interview. “He’s one of the reasons that Detroit is one unified front.”
Hex Murda grew up on the Westside of Detroit in the 80s, where he experienced hip-hop in its infancy. He comes from the era where cats wore Max Julians and drove what he describes as “piped out” Corvettes, Benzes, BMWs and Volvos. It was also during a time when you could get caught in the crossfire at a shootout in the mall or find yourself in the middle of a riot at the movie theater. It’s no wonder why Hex Murda is so hardcore, even after having a stroke that almost took his life.
When it comes to speaking about the state of hip-hop Hex pulls no punches, which is exactly why TheUrbanDaily caught up with one of the most outspoken men in the music business. With both Random Axe (Black Milk,Sean Ppice and Guilty Simpson) and Bad Meets Evil (Royce and Eminem) dropping albums tomorrow the timing couldn’t be better to send hip-hop a Murda Gram. ⎯Starrene Rhett
TUD: How would you describe the state of hip-hop now?
Hex Murda: Sh*t Hop is wack as f*ck right now! Mediocrity is rising to the top. The lack of lyricism and all around wackness is sickening. It’s disturbing to me that people embrace this crap. I think everybody’s f*cking ears are broke. It’s unfortunate that others won’t say what’s so painfully obvious. N*ggas co-sign Gucci Mane, Waka, and Lil’ B. I’m not saying those guys aren’t entertaining but they can’t spit. In ’86 you never would have heard of these guys. The one thing I can say about Gucci and Waka is at least they keep it gangsta. The rest of these n*ggas sound like the Powder Puff Girls.
[Laughs] How would you improve this perceived wackness?
We’re improving it now. Random Axe, Bad Meets Evil, Slaughterhouse, Black Rob, Smif & Wessun, Pharoahe Monch etc. N*ggas are offering an alternative to the yelling and sissy rap.
You’re known for working with artists but what has your impact been on hip-hop with regard to the Detroit scene but also hip-hop as a whole?
I don’t really know the scope of my so-called impact, I ain’t done yet.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
It was my stroke. It was like a small bump in the road and all my real niggas kept it moving, even while I was laid up in the hospital. I pushed through it by realizing I didn’t want to leave my kids or my clients yet. Like Dave from De La Soul told me once, “I got shit to do!”
Surely you’ve been a part of some historical hip-hop moments, what’s one of the biggest that you can share?
I really think that one of the biggest moments was having Royce and Trick Trick in the same studio squashing their years long beef. That was important, because it could have taken a bad turn. When Royce and Em squashed their beef, it was actually initiated by another rapper affiliated with Marshall trying to start a beef with Royce too. Now we all heard the Royce “Malcolm X” record. I have no idea why he would step to 5’9. However, I’m glad he did because he helped to reunite Bad Meets Evil. Thanks.
[Laughs] You’ve seen and worked with some icons. With that in mind, what’s one of the fondest memories you can share?
Being the last dude to hand Dilla a mic to go on stage at the HOB Hollywood to do his verse on “Raise it Up”. [And] the first time I heard Black Milk’s Tronic totally completed and sequenced. Wow.
Dilla’s loss affected hip-hop because there truly was no one like him but can anyone actually fill the void he left?
Dilla’s sound will live forever because it’s classic. There are actually a few cats carrying the torch now like Black Milk, Madlib, Oh No, 14KT, Nicolay, Khrysis, YoungRJ, etc. But it’s going to take a lot of cats to try and close that wound.
With that in mind, what is hip-hop’s future?
I honestly don’t know. It seems like folks are driving it into the ground to bury it. But the underground will always be here. While rappers clamor & climb over each other to be the next so and so, we’ll still be here in the pit, forging a piece of coal into a diamond.
Follow HexMurda On Twitter @Hexmurda…if you dare. Check on the new video from Random Axe appropriately called, The HEX.