WITH THE DEBUT ILLY ALBUM MAKING MASSIVE WAVES UPON RELEASE IN 2009, THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR AL MURRAY SECOND TIME ROUND COMES FROM WITHIN, HE TELLS RIP NICHOLSON.
ILLY interviewed @ 16.00 AEST – Thursday 9th September, 2010
For Street Press Australia & Rip2Shredz Press
Words by RIP NICHOLSON
Images courtesy of Kai Regan
2009’s Long Story Short sold Illy to the Australian public well. The home bred MC raised the flag and became the humble approach to hip hop – just telling his story. Next month Illy’s second album will drop, a feat achieved in between further education and career chase. Showing another side to the Melbourne MC, Al Murray is also the part-time student, embarking on his finals. “I’m just about to finish a law degree at Uni. I’ve been doing that part-time since the last album and I’m hoping I won’t have to put it to use for a little bit. It’s kind of a contrast between two worlds, but I prefer the hip hop world.”
The Chase sees Murray go into this one out to prove he can do it all alone – “100% Illy, for better or for worse,” he states, explaining why he strayed away from collaborating with his cohorts through the album. Illy cites calendar clashes as being an issue in trying to get together with other MCs but decided “I kinda wanted to back myself and see how it went.”
Where his debut album left off, Murray believes The Chase takes a more broader outlook from the perspective of his generation Y. “Long Story Short was done over three or four years leading up to that release and done from a younger state of mind. There is definitely a maturity in the lyrics (on the new album) and it’s more about, not me personally but personal struggles. There’s a lot of tracks that – without being airy-fairy – are about emotions and that side of life.”
Having proved his worth onthe last LP, The Chase follows up with greater ease, handled also by the best in the business in the likes of producers M-Phazes, J-Skub, Taku, J-Squared and Styalz Fuego tempering the beats to Murray’s frame of mind. It would seem that with all doors open, the only obstacle left to overcome on his second offering is satisfying himself.
“There hasn’t been any hurdles that I’ve had to go through last time in regards to the album,” the rapper admits. “With the label and radio play it’s been a lot more streamlined. But the main thing this time was how am I gonna do something that is different, that I think is better and ultimately what I’m gonna be happy with. On the creative side I definitely found out with the last one, if you try and force the creativity, it never works. You have to kick back and let it come.
“I think that I’ve done enough of that where I’m happy with it and I hope it’s as well received asLong Story Short,” he continues, “I’m just putting the final touches on that one and it’s all green lights. Its been pretty crazy, the last month getting the album together in between touring and finishing exams. It’s been pretty fucking hectic but looking forward to getting back out on the road again.”
With the first stop in Brisbane, this weekend’s Three Up Tour will showcase five or six tracks from the new album alongside the Obese-kept secret Skryptcha and his Burn City rhymie 360. “I’ve known Skryptcha through Obese and I’ve known 360 for years, like we came up in the Melbourne scene together and he’s a really good mate,” Murray declares. “So this was a good opportunity to go out on the road. I think it’s gonna be really cool to go out on the road with good mates.”