Fayetteville, North Carolina rapper Morray is easily one of the hottest acts out today.
His 2020 certified gold single “Quicksand” peaked at No. 65 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, his debut mixtape, Street Sermons (Apr. 28), snagged a number 10 spot on the Apple Top Albums chart and he received a cosign from none other than J. Cole as the next big thing in hip hop.
With comparisons ranging from Roddy Rich and Rod Wave to even CeeLo Green, the husband and father of three’s ability to blend soulful r&b with heavy trap creates a message that’s attracting a congregation — the 113 million views in 10 days for the “Quicksand” video on Youtube speaks for itself.
But it’s also Morray’s charisma that sets him apart from the field. Often bearing a smile, the rapper has partaken in lighthearted interviews about tasting snacks and is unashamed about his other street unaffiliated hobbies. In an interview with XXL, he says he wants his music to be a positive influence on people:
"It may not be that big of a deal to everybody else, but I really want nz**** to know you can smile in the hood. You ain't got to kill everybody, you ain't got to gang bang. Nigga, be happy. I hate that shit,” he tells the publication.
“Quicksand” is not Morray’s only hit either. His singles, "Switched Up," "Low Key" and "Dreamland" are all creeping up on a million views and the rapper has yet to even release a studio album.
With the 2021 BET Hip Hop Awards airing soon, here’s what you need about the budding star as you begin to see him all over your screen.
Morray may be from the trenches but that doesn’t mean he plans on staying. In fact, the dirty south rapper intends on someday making it to Hollywood.
“I like to write scripts because I really like acting and s***,” he tells XXL in a 2020 interview. “I want to act one day. So, I really be really focusing on characters and making up characters and making up scenes.”
The rapper even reveals he was even in the short film Something's Got to Give some years ago in Spring Lake, North Carolina.
Like many hiphop acts, Morray first developed his musical abilities in the church. As he recalls, his earliest memory of singing in the church dates back to when he was four. The song? “I Believe I Can Fly”. The 28-year-old rapper even thought he was going to be a pastor.
The church is so much to the core of Morray, if it wasn’t for his friends, he wouldn't have even known about hip hop, as he was raised on the gospel and R&B albums. Morray didn’t pursue music until his early 20s. But, boy, are we glad he did.
Morray is signed to Pick Six Records and managed by Moe Shalizi of The Shalizi Group (DJ Marshmello).
While management is no big deal and an understood necessity in today’s music biz, it wasn’t all so sweet and perfectly squared away from the Carolina rapper. Before the deal, Morray had just been fired from a call center after taking time off to perform at small venues. His phone was off, even.
Luckily Shalizi saw the video for “Quicksand”, found his wife’s number and delivered the news. “That was the best phone call I ever got in my life,” he tells Spin mag.
Morray’s story is another reason fans are resonating with his music.
At one point and time, the “In My Blood” rapper was homeless. His mother worked at low-wage jobs with hardly any time off to keep a roof over their heads and it didn’t help that Morray’s father was both nonexistent and abusive.
As a result, they often lived out of motels or stayed with relatives, leading the young soul singer into troubled paths.
While “Quicksand” may be Morray’s biggest song to date and possibly the song of the year, it’s important that he gives props to his wife should he win anything.
According to the rapper, she encouraged him to rap about his life — to tell stories people can relate to. Morray was open and receptive to her advice, responding by writing “Quicksand.” The rest is history.
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation