Morae Ebony Ruffin (born November 10, 1992), known professionally as Morray, is an American rapper and singer-songwriter from Fayetteville, North Carolina. He first saw recognition for his 2020 single "Quicksand", which led him to sign with Interscope Records and release his debut mixtape, Street Sermons (2021) the following year.[2] The song peaked at number 65 on the Billboard Hot 100, while his 2021 single "My Life" (with J. Cole and 21 Savage) peaked at number two on the chart and received platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Morray performing at J. Cole's The Off-Season Tour in 2021
Morray performing at J. Cole's The Off-Season Tour in 2021
Background information
Birth nameMorae Ebony Ruffin
Born (1992-11-10) November 10, 1992 (age 31)
Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active2014–present

Early life edit

Growing up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Ruffin was raised on R&B and gospel music, singing in his local church by the age of four. He moved to Lebanon, Pennsylvania at age 12 and lived there for six years before moving back to North Carolina.[3] While in Pennsylvania, he met a rap collective called SGS which inspired him to start making music. With stints in juvenile detention at age 19, he served jail time in his early 20s.[4]

While raising a child, he worked construction and recorded music on the side.[5] In 2014, he released his first song, which he recorded for his wife's birthday, and started taking music seriously.[3] In 2020, he lost his job at a call center and chose to pursue his music career to support his three children.[6]

Career edit

In March 2020, Morray released his first music video "Quicksand", which led to his being discovered by media manager Moe Shalizi. He became Morray's manager and launched a record label called Pick Six Records. Morray also featured two more songs with Mo Chedda in 2020, "Snitch On Ya Man's" and "In Da Trap".[3] On October 30, Morray and Shalizi re-released "Quicksand" as a single; it later charted on the Billboard Hot 100.[7] Following the single, he received co-signs from fellow North Carolina rappers J. Cole and DaBaby. The single amassed millions of streams, and he was featured as part of Billboard's Emerging Artists Spotlight. In an interview with Billboard, he said "I want to be that light in the ghetto, I want 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 both positive and negative memories."[8] He released three more singles in 2020: "Switched Up", "Low Key", and "Dreamland".

In 2021, Morray released the singles "Big Decisions" and "Kingdom".[9][10] On April 16, Morray announced that he had signed to Interscope Records in a joint venture with Pick Six.[11] He released the single "Trenches" ahead of his debut project in April.[12] His mixtape Street Sermons was released on April 28, 2021. The mixtape debuted on the US Billboard 200 at number 41.[13] On May 14, Morray was a guest feature on J. Cole's album The Off-Season, on the song "My Life" with 21 Savage.[14] The song debuted at number two on the Hot 100, becoming his highest charting and best performing song.[15] Also in 2021, he was featured on the 2021 XXL Freshman Class. On June 22, it was announced he would be joining J. Cole and 21 Savage on their co-headlining The Off-Season Tour as their opener. On July 30, Morray released a remix of his song "Trenches" featuring Polo G.

Artistry edit

Morray grew up listening to artists like Usher and took inspiration from Drake's rapping and singing fluidity.[16] His style has been compared to CeeLo Green, and described as combining "the soulfulness of Big K.R.I.T. with the bounce of Outkast".[17]

Discography edit

Mixtapes edit

List of mixtapes, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions

US Rap
Street Sermons
  • Released: April 28, 2021
  • Label: Pick Six, Interscope
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
41 20 17

Singles edit

As lead artist edit

List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album

US Rap
"Quicksand"[24] 2020 65 29 23 Street Sermons
"Switched Up"[26]
"Low Key"[27] Non-album singles
"Big Decisions"[29] 2021 Street Sermons
(solo or with Polo G)
"Bad Situations" TBA
"Mime" Madden NFL 22
"Never Fail"
(with Benny the Butcher)
"Still Here"[31]
(with Cordae)
"Momma's Love"[32]

As featured artist edit

List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
US Rap
"My Life"
(J. Cole with 21 Savage and Morray)[34]
2021 2 1 1 The Off-Season
"In My Blood"
(MO3 featuring Morray)
Shottaz 4Eva

Guest appearances edit

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Snitch on Ya Man's" 2020 Mo Chedda, AR Non-album singles
"In Da Trap" Mo Chedda
"Mime" 2021 Madden NFL 22
"Hands Up" Tyla Yaweh Non-album singles
"All Them Days" Derez De'Shon
"Tail Lights" 2023 Macklemore Ben

Tours edit


References edit

  1. ^ "Morray Songs, Albums, Reviews, Bio & More". AllMusic. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c ""I Thought I Was Supposed to Be a Pastor:" An Interview with Morray". PassionWeiss. February 4, 2021.
  4. ^ McKinney, Jessica. "Morray Is the Realest". Complex.
  5. ^ "Switched Up: Morray's Life Changed With One Phone Call". Spin. February 2021.
  6. ^ Monger, Timothy. "Morray – Biography". AllMusic.
  8. ^ Mamo, Heran. "North Carolina Rapper Morray Shines Light on Life in the Hood With 'Quicksand': Emerging Artists Spotlight". Billboard.
  9. ^ Cho, Regina (February 5, 2021). "The Ones: Morray's "Big Decisions"". Pitchfork.
  10. ^ Mahadevan, Tara C. "Watch Morray's New Video "Kingdom"". Complex.
  11. ^ "Morray Signs to Interscope in Partnership With Pick Six Records". Billboard.
  12. ^ "Morray Pays Homage to His Hometown in 'Trenches' Video". Billboard.
  13. ^ "HipHopDX Rising Star Morray Plots 'Street Sermons' Project". HipHopDX. April 16, 2021.
  14. ^ "J. Cole's new album features track with fellow Fayetteville rapper Morray". The Fayetteville Observer.
  15. ^ "J. Cole Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  16. ^ "THE BREAK PRESENTS: MORRAY". XXL. December 30, 2020.
  17. ^ "Morray Is Pushing Hip-Hop's Boundaries With His Authentic and Heartfelt Singles". OnesToWatch.
  18. ^ @billboardcharts (May 10, 2021). "Debuts on this week's #Billboard200 (2/3)..." (Tweet). Retrieved May 11, 2021 – via Twitter.
  19. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. January 2, 2013.
  20. ^ "Top Rap Albums". Billboard. January 2, 2013.
  21. ^ "Quicksand by Morray". Billboard. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  22. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: May 15, 2021". Billboard. January 2, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  23. ^ "Hot Rap Songs". Billboard. January 2, 2013.
  24. ^ "Quicksand – Single". iTunes.
  25. ^ a b "American certifications – Morray". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  26. ^ "Switched Up – Single". iTunes. November 20, 2020.
  27. ^ "Low Key – Single". iTunes. December 4, 2020.
  28. ^ "Dreamland – Single". iTunes.
  29. ^ "Big Decisions – Single". iTunes.
  30. ^ a b "Kingdom – Single". iTunes. February 5, 2021.
  31. ^ "Still Here". iTunes. March 4, 2022.
  32. ^ "Momma's Love". iTunes. May 6, 2022.
  33. ^ "Morray Enlists Southside for New Inspirational Single "Ticket"". Complex. Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  34. ^ "Top 40 Rhythmic Future Releases". AllAccess. Archived from the original on May 21, 2021. Retrieved May 22, 2021.