Keith Murray Gets Busy While Awaiting Appeal

While facing the very real likelihood of doing up to three years for a 1996 assault conviction, rapper Keith Murray has spent the last few months in a frenzy of activity.

In addition to the May release of the "El Niño" album from Def Squad (which featured Murray along with Redman and Eric Sermon) Murray has also been recording his third solo album, "It's a Beautiful Thing," and has finished shooting several videos.

As the rapper's appeals appear to be running out, Murray told MTV News that he was motivated to cut the new solo record after hitting the road this summer as part of the Survival of the Illest tour.

"The Def Squad album was a stepping stone," Murray said, "just to help me get to where I wanted to be. And doing the tour, during the tour, seeing the people all around the world again, has made me realize where I need to be as a solo artist."

"There was a lot of pressure off me [on the tour]," he continued, "with Eric and Redman having to hold

up their part, so now I see exactly where I need to be, what I need to write about, what I need to address and how my fans perceive me better." [500k QuickTime]

While Murray continues to hope that fans won't have to perceive him behind bars, he can be seen in the video for the next Def Squad single, "The Game."