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|Keith Omar Murray|
|Born||September 13, 1974|
Roosevelt, Long Island, New York, U.S.
|Origin||Central Islip, New York|
Debuting on Jive Records in 1994, Murray's debut single, The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World was released the same year and spawned an album of the same name, released to critical acclaim and commercial success. Along with his solo work, Murray is known for his association with the Def Squad, with whom he released an album, El Niño in 1998.
Murray initially got his start in the music industry under the name MC Do Damage, but later decided to just go by his birth name. In 1994, he was introduced to Erick Sermon of EPMD by his friend K-Solo. Sermon included Murray on his album No Pressure on the single "Hostile", with critics praising Murray's lyrical ability. His appearance on Hostile led to Murray being signed to Jive Records, and work began on his first album. Murray's debut single, The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World was released in 1994 and was a hit. The song was produced by Erick Sermon (who also provided background vocals) and peaked at #50 on the Billboard 200 and number three on the Hot Rap Singles chart. Murray's debut album The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World, was named after the single and released in 1994 to widespread critical acclaim and commercial success, being certified gold in August 1995. The album was also given 4 mics by The Source. Murray continued to enjoy a high media-profile by appearing on a Coca-Cola advertisement and as a featured guest on Mary J Blige's Be Happy, Total's Can't You See, R Kelly's Home Alone and LL Cool J's I Shot Ya.
Murray's second album Enigma was released on November 26, 1996 on Jive, once again to critical acclaim. The album peaked at thirty-nine on the U.S. Billboard 200 and reached the sixth spot on the R&B Albums chart.. Murray also continued to work with other artists, appearing on tracks by Busta Rhymes, UGK, Redman and Jamal. In 1998, Murray and The Def Squad released their debut album, El Niño, which peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold by the RIAA. Murray's third solo album It's a Beautiful Thing was released in 1999 while Murray was incarcerated for assault.
After Murray was released from prison, he signed with Def Jam who released He's Keith Murray in 2003, once again to critical and commercial success. The album contained the single "Yeah Yeah U Know It.", and featured guest appearances from Busta Rhymes, Redman and Jamie Foxx, among others. The same year, Murray was featured as a playable character in the video game Def Jam Vendetta. Despite the success and acclaim of his first album on Def Jam after this, Murray was dropped from the label just one day after its release after being accused of choking two label employees, although he said the confrontation was limited to words. After being released, Murray announced plans to continue recording music independently.
In 1995, Murray was arrested after being accused of hitting a man with a barstool in a fight. He was released on bail, but eventually sentenced to three years in prison in 1998. Murray, who maintains his innocence, fled from authorities after his sentence until turning himself in in October 1998. Murray initially filed a lawsuit for wrongful conviction, but agreed to drop the suit in exchange for his sentence being reduced by three months. Murray served the latter portion of his sentence in the Maple Street Halfway House facility before being released on May 14, 2001.