From Seven Magazine
Issue #16, Oct 2016
By Noah Fish
A mutual breakup with his longtime girlfriend was the catalyst for Blake Auler-Murphy’s latest artistic endeavor, a full length album that will be released this fall.
“It was difficult because it was the end of something I tried really hard to do,” says Blake, as we sat adjacent a paused game of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater at the Warehouse Friday night, where Blake and a few other emcees were opening for Carnage The Executioner.
“At the same time, our ability to make a practical relationship decision together is something I felt invigorated by. Recognizing stuff, and being like, ‘Nope, this will lead us to hate each other.’ I don’t want to hate the person I used to date.”
Blake’s fresh personal latitude culminated in touring and performing throughout the upper Midwest, His sweet spot, of course, is here in La Crosse, where he hails from, and where he is a mentor to the local scene. “La Crosse is a secret garden meets launching pad,” he says.
Blake is a master collaborator and incredibly bright. Conversing with him is always worldly, never dull, and you’ll most likely learn something valuable. A couple of years ago, Blake recommended I buy a copy of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology because I was having trouble developing profound plots in my writing. When Matt Harter was the mayor of the city, Blake had the most interesting inside info about the folly of his term. His zeal for information and cooperation is inspiring. Sometimes the way he talks when he gets excited makes it seem like he’s on cocaine, but he’s definitely not. Tonight he’s drinking a Bawls energy drink.
“I realize I don’t have pull in large markets,” says Blake. He’s right, and it’s disappointing that an artist who lists his main practices as radical hospitality, kindness and honesty can’t be a universal hit. Blake is a hit everywhere he goes, though, and his persistence to rap and network hard have led him to being supported by a handful of legendary emcees.
“We don’t have those big audiences every night because nobody does long-term planning or organizational development for young artists so they can continue to be seen, and see each other.”
Instead, Blake and other artists who strive to make content with integrity have to accumulate their following by really connecting with the people they perform for and meet. Fortunately for Blake, it doesn’t take longer than a few minutes for you to realize he’s the real deal.
His album “Blurring the Moments Edge” has material that covers the last seven years of Blake’s life, including the joys and woes of his last relationship. It will be released under his stage name, Blake Ambrose. The record is destined for an alternative shape, as Blake believes the days of people yearning for compact discs are over, and I agree with him.
“Dude, nobody is buying CDs anymore,” he says. “It’s kitschy to have a CD now.”
A self-proclaimed “multimedia assassin,” Blake is focused on the many merchandise and media facets that can coincide with an album.
“I’m collaborating with as many artists as I possibly can with this album, to make as many unique merchandise packages as possible,” he says, which makes me laugh because he sounds more like an enthusiastic salesman than a rapper.
But he’s right. Music-heads will always need something that connects them to their favorite artists, and CDs are fading just like cassettes and records did.
Blake is obviously outspoken, and his lyrics are enlightening and direct, meant not just for him but for you and I as well. He brilliantly describes his style as “progressive hip-hop through a Kafkan lens.” With this album, he seeks to reach people with the same insightful impact, but through his word choice, wordplay and flow. He’s out to wake anybody who’s sleeping.
“I remember in the early 2000s when you’d have to dig on Myspace to find intricate things about your favorite underground artists. Nobody has to dig like that anymore, and the shit is just blasted in your face,” says Blake. “That’s part of the reason I’m wrapping some mystery up in my thing, leaving some myth included, so the product feels more original. It’s a lot more than just rapping and singing over beats to sound good. I want to make people pause and think.”