Can Murs Bring Paid Dues Back For Good?

Paid Dues is back! September 16th and 17th is about to be insane. #PaidDues #hiphopculture #comingbackstrong

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Captain California is bringing Los Angeles back to Hip-Hop’s roots within the underground.

Murs’ Paid Dues will be returning to Pershing Square on September 16 & 17 after a four-year hiatus when the festival was forced to be shut down in 2013 due to financial challenges brought upon the concert promotion company, Guerrilla Union.

At the time, they were also managing Rock The Bells which was canceled in the same year due to low ticket sales and so the remaining dates were put to a halt.

As the veteran MC Murs explained in an interview with Billboard earlier this month, Paid Dues was unfortunately unable to continue due to receiving the same negative connotation as Rock The Bells. A lot of high-profile Hip-Hop tours were on the road during that period and the market was beginning to saturate.

With the lineup boasting acts such Lil Wayne, Ab-Soul, and Jay Electronica as headliners, the show sets an important undertone which seems to be relevant to the overall theme: Never Counting Out The Underdog.

Ab-Soul released Do What Thou Wilt in December of last year. Although it is one of Soul’s most intricate body of lyrical content and storytelling to date it is hardly mentioned among the Black Hippy roster’s recent projects. Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio album DAMN has received multi platinum status and SchoolBoy Q’s Blank Face LP even received a nomination for Best Rap Album at the Grammy’s this year. However, the “Huey Knew THEN” rapper has always remained within his pocket painting abstract flows that contain several layers of double and even triple entendres.

Jay Electronica has also been an MC which has not received much of the credit he deserves due to lack of material. He has yet to release a full-length album and only rarely appears on guest features. However, the songs he has been present on have given him notoriety as a top tier lyricist. MF Doom released True Lightyears earlier this month featuring Jay Elect and hearing the two MC’s go back and forth over the jazzy instrumental was a breath of fresh air.

In recent years, Lil Wayne has also taken the backseat because of issues with his label Cash Money. In fact, Murs told Billboard, that Wayne’s journey was very similar to what Paid Dues has experienced. “Wayne inspired a lot of what you see going on in music and he’s been forced — because of reasons beyond his control, kind of like Paid Dues — to sit out for a few years.”

With the anticipation of the long awaited Tha Carter V, we as fans can only hope to see the New Orleans legend back to the top of the game.

With the return of Paid Dues, Murs has as much to prove as some of the talent on the bill. Stay tuned for more info on the festival coming soon!