Los Angeles rapper Murs was due on a plane bound for his hometown at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning—just four hours after delighting a crowd at Cat's Cradle—to cast his vote in the presidential election. He would then get back on a plane to make Wednesday's Charlotte date on his ambitious Murs For President tour. It's a rough itinerary, yes, but, as Murs put it, he really had no choice: "My momma would beat my ass," he told the crowd.
That audience was heavily sprinkled with teenagers not old enough to vote yet. Murs never attracts the average hip-hop crowd, and, on election eve, this one was no different. Murs' followers expect to see a some sort of variety show, not just an emcee on-stage doing some rap songs. All in one night, they expect Murs to jog around the stage, do a string of acrobatic toe touches, and cover Alanis Morissette and Sublime songs. And that's exactly what he did Monday night. The mood was celebratory, even if a sense of anxiety from tomorrow's uncertainty could be felt.
Several of the same people came back Tuesday for the Cradle's hip-hop dance party, listening as the election results roll-in. Producer celeb 9th Wonder and Triangle spinner DJ Forge provided the tunes for the night, DJing on the Cradle's stage next to a large screen that displayed the night's news. Serendipitously, at the moment Obama's electoral votes skyrocketed and he was proclaimed winner, Nas and Lauryn Hill's co-write, "If I Ruled the World," played. As the room erupted and people passed out hugs like last week's Halloween candy, I could make out Hill's sweet prophesy blaring from the speakers: "...and we'll walk right up to the sun/ hand-in-hand..."
Later, standing outside of the Cradle, I could hear the clamor of horns, chants and triumph-cries that filled the streets from Carrboro and into Chapel Hill. This was the Homecoming Week event that UNC hadn't planned for, but it was surely the best one. On the ride back home, I called my uncle, and he said the most profound thing to me about President-elect Barack Obama: "Rosa sat so that Martin could walk, so that Obama could run, so that our children could fly."
My night was made.