Paying His Dues in Matthews

Frosh rappers clique up and cut tracks

The heart of the rap scene isn’t the West Coast, Atlanta, or Houston. It’s Harvard Yard.

Aspiring rap artiste Michael J. Mure ’09 is putting Matthews Hall on the map, writing his own lyrics and music and producing multiple albums, some of which are available at Cambridge’s Tower Records. Mure is not signed with a record company and says Harvard prevents him from selling his records on campus, but his operation’s independence isn’t stopping him from dropping tracks.

“When I went to restock, the guy in Tower was really excited,” Mure says. “He said, and this is a direct quote, ‘They are selling like hotcakes!’”

Mure doesn’t want to be an amateur for long—he’s in the rap game for the long run.

“I want rapping to be my career. I’d like to get a record deal, and do my own thing. I don’t like the conformity in hip-hop—people just churning out singles that don’t mean anything,” he says.

Nor is he shy about sharing the spotlight, frequently collaborating with other musicians, including Harvard’s rap royalty.

One MC featured, Santiago Danino ’09, has nothing but love for Mure.

“I got a free copy of the CD for collaborating with him, but I bought one anyway because he’s so good,” Danino says.

Upstart freestyler Hang Liu ’09, winner of the recent WHRB freestyle battle at Massive Records on Mass. Ave, has also linked up with Mure.

“Michael asked me to do a song with him, and I complied—he’s a really cool guy,” said Liu.

Unlike some of their professional counterparts, these freshman rhymesters haven’t let feuding come between them.

“Hang’s an amazing freestyler, and I think a lot of him as a rapper. There’s definitely no beef,” Mure says.

Their amity is probably a good thing, as Liu aspires to work in the music industry as a producer.

And if these two keep collaborating, old-establishment Harvard might get a rep for underground rap.