Nick Carter, otherwise known as the underground rapper Murs, stopped at the Best Buy in Spanish Springs Friday to sign a few CDs and shake the hands of about 25 waiting fans.
“I think I represent normal humans,” the artist said with a characteristic pleasant smile and laid back demeanor. “A lot of rappers today portray an image that you don’t relate to.”
The Los Angeles native passed through Sparks on his way to a concert at 210 North where he would take the Reno stage for the second time. This trip he was performing with Z Trip, Pigeon John and Who Cares.
The Best Buy appearance was also not a first for the rapper, who met fans at the store last summer as well.
“He is one of the top underground rappers for me,” 16-year-old Reed High School student Raphael Rodriguez said as he waited in line. “He’s not hard core though. he is more laid back.”
And while the rapper’s beats fall in step with the underground genre and he doesn’t shy away from profanity or rough subject material, in the eyes of his critics and fans Murs is something more than average.
A critic for The Independent had this to say of Murs and his musical style:
“Murs manages to say more about the corrosive cancer of hip-hop’s gun culture than all the thousands of column inches lavished on 50 Cent’s bullet wounds,” the critic wrote.
Carter gave rise to the Murs image about 15 years ago, rising from the Los Angeles streets.
“I was never supposed to do this,” Murs said, describing a childhood of broken homes and poor living circumstances. “I had to build myself up.”
Murs sent his first single into the ears of the public in 1993, taken from a collaboration with 3 Melancholy Gypsies. The group climbed to the top of the underground scene in 1996 as they began to collaborate with the Living Legends collective.
Legends’ legacy was based on the idea of staying independent from any major record label. They sold about 300,000 releases to a Bay Area audience, all from the trunks of their cars and sidewalk stands.
The original group of eight eventually grew and formed their own label. But Murs went a different route.
Seventeen albums and 10 years later, Murs signed with Warner Brothers and released “Murs for President.”
Although the release aimed to comment on the recent election of Barack Obama to the United States presidency, the tracks are as wide-ranging in their subject matter as the topics the new president must address in his first years.
Murs said that he still hadn’t populated his set list for the Friday night show as he prepared to leave the Best Buy at 5:30 p.m. The doors at 210 North opened at 9 p.m.
“I don’t want this show to be the same as last year,” Murs said. “I want to just take time to put it together. I just want to accompany their night.”