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Keith Murray ‘s “Enigma” Anniversary Is Bittersweet

On November 26, 1996, nineteen years ago today, Keith Murray released his sophomore album Enigma on Jive Records. The anniversary is bittersweet for the MC because at the time Murray was on trial in New Britain, Connecticut for a 1995 assault case. While he maintains his innocence to this day, Murray was found guilty of hitting a teen-aged fan with a barstool at a Connecticut nightclub called The Sting and sentenced to three years in prison. He appealed the decision and finally turned himself in in 1998 to serve the bid.

“People say that’s my hardest album, I love Enigma,” Murray told WatchLOUD. “I know why it’s my hardest because I was going through hardship and mental anguish being faced with three years of incarceration. The day Enigma came out I was sittin’ in court on trial by myself. Courtoom is empty. I couldn’t do press or nothin’.”

Nevetherless, the album remains a fan favorite, particularly for the lead singles “The Rhyme” and his work with the late, great J-Dilla, who produced “Dangerous Ground.

“He was mad professional. He was always by hisself. When I was in the studio he was there alone. He just banged it out and chopped it up right now,” Murray remembers of the Detroit producer. Because of their early history Keith is partnering with Dilla’s mother Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey to release an EP with all Dilla beats. “I have a Dilla beat CD that he gave me with like 20 of them joints…without the cuts or hooks. Just raw Dilla joints. I’m gonna rock those joints. Rest in peace to Dilla, that was my man.”

 

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