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Murphy Lee: From St. Lunatics to Solo Success


Tonto Harper, better known by his stage name Murphy Lee, is a name synonymous with the vibrant hip-hop scene of St. Louis, Missouri. As a member of the St. Lunatics, Lee played a pivotal role in shaping the sound and culture of the Midwest rap scene. However, it was his solo endeavors that truly solidified his place in the annals of hip-hop history.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Murphy Lee was immersed in the city's rich musical heritage from a young age. Alongside his fellow St. Lunatics, including group cohort Nelly, Lee helped put St. Louis on the map with their distinctive blend of Midwest beats and Southern swagger.

Following the commercial success of Nelly in the early 2000s, Murphy Lee seized the opportunity to launch his solo career. Signing with Derrty Entertainment, an imprint of Universal Records, Lee released his debut studio album, "Murphy's Law," in 2003. The album debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200, signaling Lee's arrival as a formidable solo artist.

One of the standout tracks from "Murphy's Law" was the hit single "Shake Your Tailfeather," featuring Nelly and P. Diddy. The infectious track topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was featured on the soundtrack to the 2003 film "Bad Boys II." With its catchy hook and undeniable energy, "Shake Your Tailfeather" became an anthem for partygoers everywhere, cementing Murphy Lee's status as a household name.

But Lee's contributions to the hip-hop landscape extend beyond just his solo career. As a member of the St. Lunatics, he played an integral role in shaping the group's sound and style, paving the way for their success both regionally and nationally.

Despite facing the pressures of following in the footsteps of his group mate Nelly, Murphy Lee carved out his own lane in the rap game, showcasing his unique style and lyrical prowess. With his smooth delivery and charismatic personality, Lee continues to be a respected figure in the hip-hop community, inspiring aspiring artists with his journey from the streets of St. Louis to the top of the charts.


As he continues to evolve as an artist and entrepreneur, Murphy Lee remains a true pioneer of the Midwest rap scene, leaving an indelible mark on the industry with his timeless music and unwavering dedication to his craft.

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