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Fayetteville rapper Morray to headline inaugural Juneteenth Jubilee


Rapper Morray, who is from Fayetteville, has been announced as the headliner for the city’s inaugural Juneteenth Jubilee.

“We are confirmed,” Bianca Shoneman, president and CEO of the Cool Spring Downtown District, said Wednesday.

Morray, born Morae Ruffin, first grabbed attention on a national level with the release of his 2020 single "Quicksand.” It marked his first entry on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Juneteenth Jubilee is scheduled for June 18-19 in downtown Fayetteville. Morray is one of five nationally recognized artists expected to perform on the main stage June 18, the Cool Spring Downtown District said in a release.

“Morray is an excellent example of the talent we cultivate here in Fayetteville, so it’s only natural he would headline the city’s first-ever Juneteenth event,’’ Mayor Mitch Colvin said in the release.

Other scheduled performers include the Fatback Band, a Fayetteville group that recorded the first rap record, and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Amythyst Kiah, who appears in Vanity Fair this month, the Cool Spring Downtown District has said.

Overall, Juneteenth events are expected to be held in Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Spring Lake and Hope Mills.

The Juneteenth celebration is a partnership between the city of Fayetteville, the Cool Spring Downtown District and Circa 1865, a nonprofit organization that promotes unity in the Black community.

Circa 1865 will be hosting several countywide events as part of its 4th annual Juneteenth Freedom Festival, the release said. 

Last month, the Fayetteville City Council approved $141,000 for the city celebration.

The federal holiday commemorates the abolishment of slavery in the United States. On Jan. 10, the City Council voted to make Juneteenth a city holiday.

Juneteenth events

At age 12, Morray moved to Lebanon, Pennsylvania, for six years before moving back to Fayetteville. In Pennsylvania, he met a rap collective called SGS which inspired him to make music, online accounts state.

In 2020, the rapper released another three singles, “Switched Up,” “Dreamland” and “Low Key.” Later fellow Fayetteville native son J. Cole endorsed Morray and the media followed with comparisons to Rod Wave and Roddy Ricch.

In 2021, Morray released his debut mixtape “Street Sermons.”

Earlier this year, the standalone single “Still Here” was issued, which saw Morray team up with East Coast rapper Cordae.

On June 18, a full-day street festival is scheduled for downtown Fayetteville, featuring the headlining acts, local musical acts, food trucks and other vendors, according to the Cool Spring Downtown District.

On June 19, the Cool Spring Downtown District and Circa 1865 will host the Juneteenth Jubilee Heritage Brunch. The ticketed event will showcase Black chefs and culinary students. The keynote speaker will be Jaki Shelton Green, the state’s ninth poet laureate.

A Praise Party in the Park is also planned for June 19 in Festival Park. The free event is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. and will feature Grammy-award-winning gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, Shoneman said.

Other scheduled events include a launch party June 16 at Dirtbag Ales, 5435 Corporation Drive in Hope Mills, and a golf tournament June 17 at Stryker Golf Course on Fort Bragg. A carnival is also scheduled for June 16-19 in Spring Lake. 

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Fayetteville, Morray, Juneteenth Jubilee, downtown, Juneteenth Freedom Festival