It’s difficult to make it in the music industry, and while talent can get you far, sometimes you need the right person to push you on the path to success.

When Morray, né Morae Ruffin, recorded music in his friends’ house years ago, he hated his own music, thinking it had no substance and authenticity. 

The rapper felt he had to emulate a diffrent rap style to gain popularity until his wife opened his eyes for him. Morray played a few songs for his wife, and while she complimented him because he made them, she admitted that she could see through the facade. 

Morray took her advice to heart and wrote his breakthrough single 'Quicksand' in January 2020, which has now garnered over 59 million views on YouTube and earned him co-signs from the likes of JAY-Z and his fellow Fayetteville native J. Cole. 

One Phone Call Changed Morray’s Life

Many musicians dedicate their lives to their crafts, hoping to get noticed by A&R (Artist and Repertoire) representatives. They wait for that one phone call that could change their life, and while for most it remains a fantasy, Morray was lucky enough not to be one of them. 

The 28-year-old North Carolina native was experiencing his darkest hour when he got the phone call. He had just contemplated never recording again after losing his job at a call center and realizing people were not really listening to his music. 

But all that changed when Moe Shalizi, the founder of entertainment and management company, Shalizi Group, responsible for EDM superstars like Marshmello, saw the video for 'Quicksand' and called Morray’s wife. Shalizi explained that he believed in Morray’s music and wanted to manage his career. 

For Morray, his prayers had been answered. 

That was the best phone call I ever got in my life.

Morray Honors His Hometown in His New Single

The burgeoning rapper, named 2021 HipHopDX Rising Star, will release his first solo mix tape 'Street Sermon' on April 28th. The aptly titled mix tape comprises of 13 songs that tap into the rapper’s melodic church-trained singing and illustrative storytelling ability, making Morray’s music unique.


A post shared by Morray (@morrayda1)

One track on his mixtape includes ‘Trenches,’ which was released on April 21st, sheds light on the life in his home neighborhood of Fayetteville, NC celebrating the love and joy in his “ghetto” neighborhood while acknowledging the struggles and injustices and faced by the community. 

Speaking to Zane Lowe for Apple Music, Morray opened up about the inspiration for his new single ‘Trenches’ and forthcoming project. He explained that the idea behind Trenches is that he wanted people to understand that life in the ghetto is not always dark and unpleasant. 

We’re not all in there sad. We’re not all in there run [amok] and led astray. Some of us are really in there living our lives. We know how to celebrate the good. We can still celebrate our smiles too.

The Fayetteville native with his rap-crooning technique and melodic cadence is definitely one to look out for this year.