Welcome to Emerging Artists Spotlight, the Billboard series where we highlight a musician or band who has recently made their debut on the Emerging Artists chart. Whether they are new to the industry, or have been around for a while but are just starting to have a chart impact, the intention is to showcase where they are here and now. This week’s pick is rising rapper Morray, who debuted at No. 45 on the chart dated Jan. 16 thanks to his breakout single “Quicksand.”
Morray already became your favorite rapper’s rapper with his debut single “Quicksand,” which he released in October. But the rising Fayetteville, North Carolina rapper doesn’t rhyme about falling into fame like quicksand; the song likens it to not getting consumed by life on the streets. And rappers who faced the same feat in the same hood have quickly taken a liking to Morray.
He scored a co-sign from fellow NC rapper J. Cole, who commented, “This s–t AMAZING” on Morray’s Instagram clip of the “Quicksand” music video, which has garnered more than 13 million YouTube views as of press time. Another NC native, DaBaby, reshared “Quicksand” on his Instagram Story. The song even found a home on Jay-Z‘s “2020 Vision COVID-19” Tidal playist.
Through his deep, illustrative lyricism and melodic trap cadences, the MC is very clear about what picture he’s trying to paint about life in the hood.
“I want to be that light in the ghetto. I wanna be the person that makes you smile and shows you the hood ain’t all bad. I appreciate where I came from and I know that the ghetto can bring positive and negative memories but there’s always great cookouts, we play basketball, double dutch, and laugh,” the Pick Six Records signee tells Billboard. “We do so much in the hood that’s positive and doesn’t get shown. I smile a lot and I want to get that message across. That’s my music: be happy and love yourself.”
This marks Morray’s first career entry on any Billboard chart. “Quicksand” tallied 3.2 million U.S. streams in the latest tracking week (up 3%), according to MRC Data.
Learn more about Morray below.
Recommended Morray track: “Quicksand”
Outside of the music: “No cap, it’s my family, and I’m a beast at NBA 2K for Playstation.”
What’s next: “I’m working on the album.”