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HOT BAND words: sam sumpter

photos: kaitlyn clement + pricilla cuevos

A New Spin on Old School I

t’s been two years since I fi rst interviewed Branden Rex of hip hop group Park N Murray,

and although some things haven’t changed (he’s got the same afro, tattoo collection and affi nity for… umm…going green), most things have—primarily the composition and genre of the group itself. T e name and two of the members are about all that’s left of the original Park N Murray, a band that com- bined instruments, rap and melo- dies for a Shwayze-like sound. But the music business doesn’t provide instant gratifi cation, and a few too many days of fruitlessly pounding the pavement and play- ing shows for a handful of people led to a few of the members call- ing it quits and a total renovation of the group’s dynamic and sound. For the better, naturally.

New and Improved

Park N Murray is now a three- man show, featuring front man (and self-proclaimed sex god) Rex, 23; his brother, Damien Kyle—aka Daytime, 22; and Ben Buerman, 23, the newest mem-


ber of the group. T eir sound is hard to describe, Rex says, but old school hip hop would prob- ably be the easiest way to put it, with lyrics that betray Rex’s po- etic past. However, it’s the catchy choruses in party anthems like “Toast to the Good Life” that re- ally get the crowd going—espe- cially at the hip hop night Park N Murray hosts at Bat Bar in Austin every Monday, featuring an eclectic ensemble of both solo artists and groups on the rise. It was actually through these eve- nings that a clique of sorts was formed, a group of eight acts that have dubbed themselves Calm Child and are currently planning a spring tour. “Everyone is tryin’ to do that solo shit and it’s getting them nowhere,” Rex explains the reasoning behind the collabora- tion. “So we fi gure…if two heads are better than one, then for sure 13 are better than two.”


Laying low—for now—in the underground rap scene, Park N Murray operates under a simple

philosophy they call LAME (Letting All of Me Escape). “Lame is just our way of showing individuality. A lot of norms and trends fl oat around and most of it just tells people what to do,” Rex says. “T at shit is stupid, so we do what we want and say if it ain’t cool and being myself isn’t cool, then I’ll be lame.”

And though resisting the siren call of mainstream music may stacles,

present ob-

struggle that’s his moti- vation.

for Rex, it’s the “If I really think

about it, it’s the best ‘cause the outcome of the grind will feel so deserved,” he

said. “I wrote one line in a song that said ‘All the pieces are gonna fi t to the nding where they fi t is the beautiful struggle.’”

The Calm Child Tour, featuring Park N Murray, is kicking off the week before SXSW at Bat Bar on Feb. 27 with stops in San Antonio, San Marcos, Corpus Christi, South Padre, Houston, College Station and Dallas.


Download Park N Murray music fo’ free at: www.reverbnation. com/parknmurray

For more info, follow them on Twitter: @parknmurray

Check out: Facebook. com/parknmurray

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