Fredro Starr Dismantles Keith Murray In Their Battle & They Nearly Come To Blows (Video)
After more than a year of hype, promotion, and anticipation, Keith Murray and Fredro Starr finally battled. Yesterday, the October 4 battle at Brooklyn, New York’s Milk River saw the two 1990s major label stars from their crews (Def Squad and ONYX, respectively) square off in a crowded boxing ring. Perhaps symbolically, the MC battle nearly became a physical tussle after the men—and referees struggled to manage the microphone—and each others’ personal space.
The MC War event is captured on film, and features nearly 30 minutes of action—and not all of it is head-to-head rhyming. However, Heads can largely agree that it was Fredro’s night, in a battle that seemed to go as deep as its hype videos projected.
In the gently structured event (hosted by Loaded Lux and Murda Mook), Fredro Starr (flanked in the ring by Sticky Fingaz) called out Keith Murray as a “dust head,” alluding to a possible drug addiction. The Queens, New York veteran MC/actor attacked his opponent with criticism about his financial status, mentor Erick Sermon saving his career, and getting bodied by Foxy Brown on “I Shot Ya.” In later verses, Starr called the Def Squad MC a liar, brought to light his historic physical altercations, including one with Tupac Shakur, and urged the rapper’s sales had reached a crawl. Along the way, the ONYX vet got deliberately in Murray’s face with a series of fast-moving hand gestures, and reworked Murray’s breakthrough 1994 hit, “The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World.”
On Murray’s side, the Central Islip, New York native made a series of jabs about having sexual relations with Fredro Starr’s (whom he called “Freddie”) spouse. Murray rhymed that ONYX’s realest member, Sonny Seeza, had left the group. Murray mentioned ONYX letting down Jam Master Jay, who helped bring the group to Def Jam through his imprint. Additionally, Murray—who repeated numerous bars for emphasis—made light of Starr’s longtime role on Brandy’s “Moesha” show. At the 12:30 mark, the two MCs bumped into each other for the first. After Murray reworked the chorus to “Slam,” Keith made a Tiny Lister, Jr. reference about Fredro getting chased.
Once Fredro returned to the mic, after comparing Keith Murray’s style to that of Kool Keith’s (adding “that’s not really cool, Keith”), Murray reaches for the mic while in Starr’s hands. Just after the 15:00 mark is when the battle gets physical, with Fredro seemingly responding physically to the mic move.
After things settle, the battles continue, with crowd noise and stage reaction seemingly siding with the ONYX member. At the 28:00 mark, the men embrace before leaving the stage.
A year in the making, this beckons some questions… Do you agree that Fredro Starr won, by heavy margin? If so, does this bring deserved attention to ONYX’s recent work? Does it put Keith Murray in a difficult trench? Perhaps most importantly, should more artists strongly consider their strengths and abilities before entering the Rap ring—with legacies and careers behind them?
— DJ 808 (@BobbyBounce) October 5, 2015