MURS - Murs for President

Posted October 6, 2008
Tags: MURS,

My people, it’s that time again. Time to choose a new president. We need a man who can bring...

Murs for President Album Review

My people, it’s that time again. Time to choose a new president. We need a man who can bring peace, solve the financial crisis, unite the nation, and look fresh to death while he does it. Of course, I’m talking about the next president of the United States of Hip-Hop. While there’s no shortage of candidates for the office, as a citizen of Hip-Hop America, who should I cast my vote for? Jay-Z seems like an obvious choice, but can someone who routinely f**ks Beyonce on his private yacht relate to the struggles of the common man? And then there’s Diddy, but I don’t trust anyone who thought it was a good idea to name himself “Diddy”. T.I. could supply the military himself and 50 could probably get the president of Iran to cry on the phone, but none of them are quite right. Maybe we need someone from outside the hip-hop establishment. Maybe it’s time for a change.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce MURS. While the heavily dreadlocked rapper may not be a household name, he’s been running a Los Angeles based grassroots effort for a decade, slowly but surely becoming a true man of the people. Now, with a substantial campaign contribution from Warner Bros., MURS is ready to go national with MURS For President. A focused and bold effort, MURS For President isn’t afraid to attack the greed-mongers that have corrupted our musical nation, but still resonates with a message of hope. MURS for president might be pushing it, but at the very least he deserves a seat in Hip-Hop’s Senate.

A great president leads us into the future but never forgets his roots, and with that in mind MURS stacks his album with tracks that embrace his underground roots. Just take Can It Be, MURS raw appeal to the electorate. First off, any song that uses a young Michael Jackson sample is good times, and MURS uses the sparkling production to turn Can It Be into a testament to his lyrical honesty and time-tested skill: “Homies on heroine, homies on coke, but can you even blame em when they only tryin to cope?” Damn, that’s what I want my president to sound like. Even better is Breakthrough, a track that brings on 9th Wonder as his running mate for a track that seamlessly mixes 9th’s trademark smoothed-out production with MURS unwavering delivery. On President MURS sometimes succumbs to the weight of his newfound major label responsibility and takes himself a little too seriously, but 9th brings out the same sense of humor and joy in MURS that was evident on their collaborative album. MURS and 9th, now that’s a ticket I’d vote for.

Every politician has to make concessions to the mainstream in order to win office, and apparently MURS is no different. The politicking starts with Lookin Fly, a produced track that’s as close to a dance track as President gets. Now I think we all want a president who knows how to party, but on Lookin Fly MURS loses his lyrical identity among the booming bass lines and snare rolls, paring his lyrics back until he’s almost an average MC: “Fly like a condor, fly like an eagle” is elementary by MURS standards. By contrast, Time Is Now handles its moment in the spotlight much better, combining a choir and crunching percussion to form a track that would sound at home in the lowrider or the church. Snoop makes Time a full west coast affair with a typically laid back verse, but tellingly MURS equates himself nicely next to Snoop’s star power, proving he has what it takes to be a national contender. Still, if MURS truly wants to be the leader of the free musical world he has to broaden his appeal, and President just doesn’t have enough good vibes to make it truly popular. Still, when it comes down to it the man is still dropping tracks like The Science, a track that elevates rapping to a precise science. I want my president to never forget that it’s the people that truly matter, not the money, and that’s why I’d seriously consider casting my vote for MURS.

Is this album good enough to actually get MURS elected president of Hip-Hop Nation? Unfortunately, no. It just isn’t quite inspired enough to make him a legitimate contender to take over hip-hop’s West Wing. Then again, a man named Barack Obama is about to become the next president of the United States, so I guess anything is possible.

P.S. – If you don’t vote for Obama I will personally come over to your house and slap you. (This message was in no way approved by the Obama campaign.)

DJBooth Rating - 3.5 Spins

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Posted October 6, 2008
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