Moruf has been making noise in the underground hip-hop scene for the past few years.Â A consistent string of mixtapes and singles has opened the door for collaborations with the likes of Theloneous Martin (Curren$y, Action Bronson) and Topaz Jones.Â Moruf is currently finishing up his degree at Kean University, so we sat down with him on his train ride home to discuss everything from his origins to future plans.
Rappersroom: What does Irvington, New Jersey mean to you?
Moruf: Irvington is home, man. Like, what can I say, that’s where I learned everything – how to talk to a girl, what not to do, what time to leave the house, and all that. Growing up there helped me learn about life, learn about myself.
Rappersroom: Speaking of your childhood, what was it like growing up as the child of two Nigerian immigrants?
Moruf: It was amazing, like I was actually just speaking to my homie about this. Sometimes I feel like I grew up in Nigeria.Â My father was very strict and my mom was too, but they were very loving and nurturing.Â You know, my mom came to America at 24, so I’m looking at her like wow, these are people who left everyone they knew to seek a better life. Talk about balls. It gives me no reason to be scared to do what I want to do.
Rappersroom: How does your family view your rap career?
Moruf: At first I’m not gonna lie my father (rest in peace), he was scared of me doing music cause he thought I was gonna start whilin’ and stuff like that. When he passed I became more serious about music, and at that point my mom and sister saw this is something I love doing and they were became real supportive.Â Whether it’s five people, five hundred, or five million, this is something that people are enjoying.Â That’s all I really ask of them is support cause they mean the world to me.
Rappersroom: How would you describe style of hip-hop?
Moruf: Confident vibes man. It’s very familiar, like it’ll take you back and make you feel like you’re watching Saturday cartoons or “Family Matters” or your first kiss, you know? And it’s good energy – it’s flows, it’s metaphors, it’ll make you think.Â I feel like I make music you could listen to with your homies or your grandmother.
Rappersroom: So what do you listen to?
Moruf: I listen to a lot of different music. From Slum Village to J. Dilla, and lately a lot of jazz like Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk. But then I also vibe to Anita Baker, Marvin Gaye, Little Dragon.Â I actually haven’t been listening to a lot of rap as of late.
Rappersroom: What do you feel is your purpose in hip-hop?
Moruf: I feel like my purpose in hip-hop, or more like my purpose as a human being is just to spread good vibes. Like forreal, in just talking or conversing my purpose is to make people feel good. I know I’m far from perfect, but when I have the opportunity to spread knowledge, I love to do that.Â As I’m working on this new project, I feel like I’m writing about my life, and people can relate to it. Like I’ve got songs about my neighborhood, break ups, and shit everybody can really draw parallels to.
Rappersroom: How did you get your start in hip-hop?
Moruf: I actually started writing poetry in like 5th grade, and I would carry around a book with me.Â I liked putting words together, and the impact that it could have on people.Â Even in something like church I’m inspired by the preacher.Â Yo, he has the power to alter peoples minds, and every Sunday people go to listen to his words.Â Then there’s the musical inspiration that started me up with Jadakiss, Kanye, and Hov.Â Ye really showed me that you can be yourself, and just put all of you into your music.
Rappersroom: So then where do you see yourself in the future, like say five years from now?
Moruf: Definitely creating music, but also traveling.Â I want to start a foundation, LOE (Love Over Everything). And in 5 years who knows, I might even want to start teaching. I just want to spread good energy. I know that sounds very hippyish, but I really feel like that’s my purpose.
Rappersroom: What’s a song of yours that really means a lot to you?
Moruf: I’ve got a few. On my last project “Pops”, cause that was dedicated to my pops who passed away. I actually wrote it before he passed, which kind of makes it mean that much more to me.Â Another track that really means a lot is “Daryl Strawberry” cause that was the first song in which the crowd would go crazy when I’d do the hook. Good memories man.
Rappersroom: What’s something about you people would be surprised to find out?
Moruf: I guess peoples’ interpretation of me from the outside might be like “Moruf meditates every day and goes to the forrest”.Â In reality I’m a jokester, real goofy. I love to joke, have fun, and I love broccoli.
Favorite Restaurants: Cuban Pete’s in Montclair
Follow Moruf @followmoruf