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The sample in "No Pictures of Jesus" by Murs, Dee-1 & Curtiss King

The sample in "No Pictures of Jesus" by Murs, Dee-1 & Curtiss King

In the last week of the year - Murs and Dee-1 drops a powerful new track with a strong message. The beat, produced by Curtiss King is built around a psychedelic sample of Black Merda, a psych-funk band previously sampled by Kanye West, and admired by the likes of Beastie Boys, DJ Z-Trip & Peanut Butter Wolf.

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On “No Pictures Of Jesus,” Murs and Dee-1 share their thoughts on how Christian belief should be about the message, and that the discussion on whether Jesus is black or white is irrelevant. "Color is just a tactic that people use to distract / but the Bible says don't argue with fools so I don't react," raps Dee-1 in the first verse, moments before Murs adds upon that perspective: "It's all about what's inside of the package / It's everlasting / I don't care how you rep it."

The song is the first single from Murs & Dee-1's collab album dropping in 2020, entirely produced by Curtiss King.

Dee-1 & Murs
Dee-1 & Murs
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Curtiss King produced the backdrop for their train of thought, using a sample from Tracklib. “When I first heard ‘I Don’t Want To Die’ by Black Merda I got goosebumps so intense that it made me tear up,” he says. “The ruggedness of the guitar, the honesty of the singer, and the contrast of dark and hopeful vibes were overwhelmingly powerful to me. I found it therapeutic to dig through and chop up this song.”

“The lyrics of the song were also a huge factor,” he continues. “I look at Murs as a brother, and I felt like if the Black Merda lyrics ‘We don’t wanna die, no, we ain’t gonna die’ gave me goosebumps, he would feel the same.” That led to a new collaboration with Murs following previous collaborative tracks such as "Lemon Juice", "PTSD", "The Strangest", and a full EP titled Shut Your Trap. And it certainly won’t be their last. Curtiss: “In addition to ‘No Pictures Of Jesus,’ Murs and Dee-1 rapped over a lot more sample-based beats I created using Tracklib. In 2020, Murs will probably be the only artist that I work with.”

Curtiss King
Curtiss King

"Tracklib provides a simple path for us producers to pay the original artists their well-deserved funds and dues."

— Curtiss King

(The track below was sampled before by Kanye West for Teriyaki Boyz' "Teriyaking")

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According to Curtiss King, it were sample-based albums by Murs & 9th Wonder such as Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition which got him hooked on their music. Now using Tracklib himself brings him fully back to the art of sampling he’s adored for decades: “One of the biggest gripes in my early years of sampling was how many master recordings downgraded in quality once you got them off of YouTube. So, high-quality and clarity were the first major factors in my decision to chop up [“I Don’t Want To Die”]."

“I truly feel that Tracklib will help usher in the next generation of sample-based music producers who go about things legit," he says. "Tracklib provides a simple path for us producers to pay the original artists and musicians their well-deserved funds and dues. My hope is that this encourages even more publishers to allow producers to sample their catalogs.”


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