Morray’s 2021 XXL Freshman Freestyle
Morray’s potential for greatness is going up, and it’s truly stuck. However, the Fayetteville, N.C. native had to shed his old skin to reemerge as the artist he is today.
The 28-year-old rising star, whose music is a melodic blend of singing and rapping, quit creating songs for quite some time before he swiped a spot in the 2021 XXL Freshman Class. After hitting the mic in 2008, more than a decade had gone by since Morray, born Morae Ruffin, made music again. He looked in the mirror on a handful of occasions and asked himself why he was continuing, considering how 10 years had passed with his songs failing to garner attention or much love on social media.
Last year, someone who claimed to be part of Gucci Mane’s team tried to scam Morray out of money, which prompted him to want to quit again. Just a few days later, his life changed as a result of his gold-selling smash "Quicksand." Pick Six Records founder Moe Shalizi called Morray to praise his artistry and the deal was real this time. Morray then signed to Pick Six, now in alliance with Interscope Records. “It's very discouraging when you're doing music by yourself, but it takes one thing to change your life,” Morray echoes.
“Quicksand" finds him singing through the tumultuous experiences of making it out of a gritty, isolated area that typically holds people down. The record, cosigned by fellow Fayettenam native and 2010 XXL Freshman J. Cole, plus 2020 Freshman DaBaby, peaked at No. 65 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and its video currently has a view count that's almost touching 100 million.
After that, he kept the music in rotation with more songs like “Trenches,” “Kingdom,” “Big Decisions” and “Switched Up.” The latter three are housed on the 2021 release of his debut project, Street Sermons, equipped with 13 tracks that encapsulate the intricacy of his flow patterns and pitch control. That adept caliber of layering melodies and harmonies also helped him create the chorus on J. Cole's song "My. Life," which peaked at No. 2 spot on the Hot 100 this year and earned Cole the highest-charting single of his career.
Let Morray tell it, that vocal design is something that he got from growing up in the church, an environment that’s perfect for opening up the spirit. “They got trap soul, but my shit is rap soul,” Morray shares. “I'm rapping, but I'm pouring from my heart. And that's why I love what I do because I can just give it my all and be me.”
Now, it’s time to give people a moving example of why Morray is the perfect fit for the 2021 XXL Freshman Class. His XXL Freshman freestyle features a wave of demanding energy felt from the first set of words Morray offers. Here, he details how he became the rose that grew from the pavement.
“They said I’ll be dead by 16, I guess them niggas was just lying and shit/Bitch, I’m alive and I know that you hate it, wishing you’d go blind and shit/And my diamonds too clear to think that I’m just flexing, bitch, ain’t no denying this shit/And, bitch, I just started and I didn’t even tap into my fucking prime with this,” he bestows with an intoned flow.
In just over a minute, Morray plays taps with calm, fleeting rhythms utilized to deliver chin-checking flexes about attacking beats, covering the calcium-filled blocks in his mouth with gold and having stacks of money so stern that the bills don’t fold.
Before he exits, the prophet-to-be references the level of greatness he aims to achieve, shouting out a legendary NBA Hall-of-Famer and another rising star. “Ball like a Maverick, yeah/Dirk Nowitski, Luka Doncic, yeah/This is a doctrine, yeah/Closing the hip-hop wound like doctors, yeah,” he closes.
Watch Morray's 2021 XXL Freshman freestyle, powered by BODYARMOR, below.