"Murs For President" by Murs

Murs
Murs For President

Warner Bros. Records
2008

Review

I was tempted to just post the lyrics to "The Science" here and call it a day. I think that this album is the perfect Obama is president/let's embrace hope and change hip-hop album out there right now. A thorough listening reveals the admission of the bad things with our society as well as with the praises of the good. Murs, of course, has already released more than a few hip-hop classics, notably his collaborations with 9th Wonder. This album was Murs's first major label release but to me, it seems that that fact was a bit liberating for Murs. On this album his sound evolves a bit to what seems like an overall better sounding album than his previous releases. Thankfully 9th isn't entirely gone and he makes a few noteworthy contributions here.

Murs is definitely at the height of his ability on this album (he goes so far as to say so himself). As far as content goes, it's nice to see someone tackle the staleness of many hip-hop lyric topics with something a bit more positve. I am glad that so many hip-hop artists seemingly took Nas's proclaimation that "hip-hop is dead" as a challenge to improve the state of hip-hop. Here, Murs seems to take the idea of hip-hop as a transformative art-form to heart. As I said in the opening paragraph, I really did want to just post the lyrics to "The Science" here for everyone to read. I guess the best I can do here is ask that anybody with even a cursory interest in the state of modern hip-hop give that track a listen. Murs does a great job explaining his hypothesis for both what he believes to be the socio-economical forces that created hip-hop to the reason that hip-hop itself should be considered "a science".

See our government seems to think that there's a difference Between powdered cocaine and crack, for instance
You get five years for five grams of crack
But in the powdered form you have a hundred times that
Now who has the rock, and who has the powder
Who's the oppressed and who has the power
They want you to fail so you wind up in jail
You know how much they make while you sittin in that cell

Murs's hasn't abandoned his ability to take you on a tour of his version of Los Angeles and life within the city. Nor has he abandoned his ability to rip one for Griot and deliver fantastic storytelling rhymes as he does on the track "Everything". I guess it is true that things really do go in cycles. There are so many great hip-hop records that are being released, only you'd never know it from listening to the radio; this record is one of the many that people should have listened to but might have missed.

At 15 tracks there are a couple that maybe could have been trimmed. Interestingly enough, one of them isn't the Snoop Dogg collabo which actually turns out to be pretty ok - Snoop and Murs take you to chuuch.

There are a lot of very popular songs right now that don't carry a while lot of substance (I mean, really is there a difference between this (where the heck is the, um, song?) and this? For a while hip-hop was dead, I think. But only in the collective conscioness of the average radio listener. If Murs is running on a platform of ill rhymes about issues that matter over tight beats that keep the head nodding, well then he's got my vote.

Murs for president!

4.000 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Intro (01:47)
2. I'm Innocent (03:53) 5
3. Lookin' Fly (feat. will.i.am) (03:59) 3
4. The Science (04:55) 5
5. Can It Be (Half a Million Dollars and 18 Months Later) (03:42) 4
6. Everything (03:34) 4
7. Road Is My Religion (04:13) 3
8. Sooo Comfortable (05:02) 5
9. Time Is Now (feat. Snoop Dogg) (04:55) 4
10. Think You Know Me (04:00) 3
11. Me and This Jawn (03:57) 4
12. Love and Appreciate II (feat. Tyler Woods) (04:31) 4
13. A Part of Me (04:22) 3
14. Break Up (The OJ Song) (04:08) 4
15. Breakthrough (04:05) 4