Meet Dream Chasers newest artist Kur.
There are a few things that can be guaranteed at a Roots Picnic festival no matter that year. This includes water ice, folk in the parking lot selling BBQ platters, and at least six line-up artists who are natives to Philadelphia. This year, one of those artists was Kur.
Born and raised in Philly, Kur started making music in 2012 and has spent the last decade honing his craft. He has released a slew of mixtapes and singles which eventually caught the attention of Meek Mill. In 2021, Kur signed with Dream Chasers and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and has since been religiously in the studio working on his new project “Survivors Guilt”.
HOT 97 sat down with Kur shortly after his Day One performance at the TD Pavilion. His set list included songs and freestyles such as “Stuck in My Ways”, “Road to Riches” and “Hell of Chiraq”.
On how performing in Philly differs from other venues:
Growing up I used to always come to these festivals as a rapper with a regular ticket thinking ‘damn, I need to get on that stage’. So to be here, it means more to me because I am getting that recognition in my own city.
On the meaning of his name “Kur”:
My middle name is Shakur Malik. So I took my stage name from that. My mom said she named me after Tupac and them Malik after Phife Dawg so I probably was already destined for this before I even knew.
On parents supporting rap career:
They really weren’t supportive initially. But that was ten years ago, so I don’t hold grudges or anything against them because I genuinely think they wanted the best for me. I think they that questioned the chances of this working out [as a career]. So I think that now that it is starting to work out, they are thinking ‘okay maybe this could work out for him’. But I was 18 at the time, so of course when you just graduate high school, you parents have the right to make sure you good.
On challenges he still faces despite being signed to Dream Chasers:
I would say “identity”. Cause it’s like, yeah, I may be the hottest thing smoking in Philly but there is still a whole nother’ world. Philly is so small, there are people who never been here and never plan on coming here. So I ask myself how am I going to stand out amongst the 500k people uploading songs a day. Now that I have my foot in the door I have to work five times more than I did when I was local, for real, for real. Just really trying to get it because now I am against the top people in the industry versus the top people that’s in your neighborhood.
On what makes him stand out from other rappers:
I’ve always told my truths even if I got laughed at, even if didn’t get sympathy I just wanted to tell my truth. Because I knew I wasn’t the only one going through it. I knew people had similarities to my story and could relate. Or people may listen to me because I am blunt and transparent. I take pride in that. When I am writing I make sure I say things that people are scared to say.
On his songwriting process:
Within the ten year span, I’ve probably dropped thirteen mixtapes. But my last four is what really pushed me to get where I am. I record so much. It’s a gift and a curse because being in the studio all the time means that I am not out living. I lose stuff to rap about. I’m not living and experiencing and that’s the balance I gotta find.
On the best places to eat in Philly:
I’m going to say David’s. I go there for Chinese food. On the cheesesteak side, honestly you can get a good cheesesteak from one of the Papi stores in the hood. Maxes, Delessandros, Eds in West Philly next to Drexel Hill. Imma go to Ed’s first before I go to a lot of other places. Those are my top three on the cheesesteak side.