As I referenced here, Murs was thisclose to moving beyond the scary thought of becoming hip hop’s Gilbert Arenas. . .if he could only sustain his growth as a person and eMcee,
Upon hundreds of listenings to each of his brilliant collaborations with 9th Wonder, 3:16 and amazing Murray’s Revenge, I thought that Murs was on the way to becoming the underground legend that he deserved to be once he matured. Well, I finally peeped his new ‘joint,’ Fornever, and was absolutely horrified.
Uninformed, poorly justified reviews such as The Onion A.V. club’s B+ grade will lead his frat-rap (see: his EPs with Slug) fans to run out and ‘cop’ the album and while Pitchfork’s 6.1 score was more fair, some of the review was actually glowing. Both are wrong, and misleading real heads, who were excited due to his recent bouts of maturation and growth as an eMCee.
In short, I pre-bought the record, which I never do; I was really excited. I been on a Murs kick to the (misguided) extent that I seriously thought that he & 9th were a potentially better duo than 9th & Phonte (best lyricist, 2000 – 2009, Little Brother front man) which is a scary good thought.
The album with Murs & 9th Murray’s Revenge is a 10-track, wonderful romp through all that is the soft.dilla influenced underground soul sound (for you kiddies, the bastardized version is what Kanye introduced to the big-time) but obviously with the underground sensibility.
Totally thought that this album was going to be the best of the best, but sadly to say I listened to it once – was in complete disbelief and Murs’s reversion to his ‘Rules the World’ era content (frat rap, i like to call it – about partying with ‘white chicks’ and making fun of other rappers, basically harmless but no real depth), as well as his slippage in flow and delivery. I should have known that featuring Kurupt on THREE tracks was a death knell, but i actually held out (false) hope that Kurupt would have a renaissance (hey – hes been on slum village and to even know enough to work with 9th and murs is a feather in the cap), but he is literally holyfieldesque past his prime in suckiness. Sorry about the lack of cogent ‘analysis,’ but I was actually too sad to get into depth lyrically because of his complete and utter collapse as an eMCee.
Here’s hoping that this album falls through the cracks of time and Murs recaptures his brilliance and positive career path. . .instead of pulling a gun and torpedoing his career. A bit too close to Arenas, my brother, step the game back up.
Following in the footsteps of Hip Hop Renaissance and Renaissance II, YKI Records has just released Hip Hop Renaissance III: A-Side/B-Side, featuring more of the late-90’s through 2004 sound, or the third Golden Age of Hip Hop. Jean Grae, Phonte, Murs and 9th continue to define the sound, as the ‘Jay Dilla’ era/influence is definitely in full effect. Check out the new joints from Jay Electronica & Black Milk for a newer, credible sound. Enjoy, and hit me for a copy.
Ridiculous – DJ JS-1 ft. OC & Pharoahe Monch, Common
Barbershop – Murs & 9th Wonder ft. Rapper Big PoohNo Fear – Cool Cee Brown ft. Phonte & Asheru
Preservation – Aesop Rock, Del tha Funkee
Exhibit A – Jay Electronica
No Fear – Cool Cee Brown ft. Phonte & Asheru
The Matrix – Black Milk ft. Pharoahe Monch, Sean Price, DJ Premier
Biochemical Equation – MF Doom, RZA
Guns Are Drawn – The Roots
Next Day – Phonte
Speakin’ – El da Sensai
Air Wars – Crystal Castles
The Time Is Now – Jean Grae & 9th Wonder ft. Phonte
Nostalgia – Masta Ace ft. Marco Polo
Let it Go – The Herbaliser ft. What What (Jean Grae)
Dilla Forever – Scienz of Life
Exhibit C – Jay Electronica
Three Slims Dynamite – Digable Planets (unreleased)
Russell Martin returns to camp “like a linebacker,” weighing 235 pounds, bulking up in the offseason by following – you ready for this, MItchell Report acolytes? – Eric Gagne’s training regimen, in attempt to hit for more power. Hopefully this is more Mike Piazza than Andruw Jones.
Don’t fret, Halos fans, YKI WILL be covering the Angels this year as well, as are the hordes of Japanese media swarming over Hideki Matsui‘s cross-coast move to Anaheim.
As if UCLA hoops fans haven’t had it difficult enough this year with realization of the utter failure of last year’s recruiting class and the mediocre play in the less-than-mediocre Pac-10, stud frosh Reeves Nelson is now debilitated with yet another eye injury.
Ho Hum. Kobe’s back. Another game winning 3-pointer, leading the Lakers to a one-point win over the Grizzlies.
A little Waves action from Vincent Bonsignore at the Daily News for uncovering Pepperdine star Keion Bell, who dazzled at Kobe Bryant’s ballcamp last year with this dunk over five people (go to the 40 second mark and enjoy):
And lastly, for my L.A. heads, this is the album of the day (though technically two separate albums, released four years apart):
Much like Gilbert Arenas, Murs began as a wildhorse; an L.A. native, massively talented & energetic, with charisma & personality almost overshadowing his ability. After a few brushes with superstardom, the work in the studio/gym led to a collaboration that enabled success (9th Wonder for Murs, Eddie Jordan for Gilbert) with a more adult outlook, though hints of immaturity (blog tirades/frat rap about sex) were still evident. For Arenas, a few questionable decisions led to potential jailtime & a league suspension, while Murs is clean. . .for now. Peep the albums before he pulls heat.
Hip Hop Renaissance II (track listing)
i) Projections – Juggaknots
ii) Starr Status – Kenn Star
iii) Anti-Matter – KingGeedorah/MF Doom/Mr. Fantastik
iv) Here we Go – 9th Wonder/Buckshot
v) Duck Season – DJ Babu/Beatnuts
vi) Dreamin’ – Del the Funky Homosapien/Brother Ali
vii) In the Ghetto – Elvis Presley
viii) The Grudge – EMC
ix) Murs Day – Murs
x) History – Mos Def/Talib Kweli
xi) You’re a Customer – EPMD
xii) Cypher Freestyle – Mos Def/BlackThought/Your Boy Eminem
xiii) Take Me to Your Leader – King Geedorah
xiv) Stay Chisel – Large Professor/Nas
xv) High Rollers – Ice-T
xvi) Hip Hop’s Cool Again – Oddisee
xvii) Hip Hop Tribute – Icewater/Raekwon
xviii) Kelly Watch the Stars – Air