Murs and Fashawn - This Generation

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Murs and Fashawn forge an exceptional chemistry on "This Generation" that more importantly doesn't compromise their stylistic individuality.

While a past history as collaborators has been non-existent for left coast rappers Murs and Fashawn, eventually seeing them coalesce made sense considering their close quarters and likewise associates. With Murs playing the grizzled vet and Fashawn the lyrical wunderkind, This Generation thrives in its approach to bridge the gap for two emcees that represent a pragmatic attitude, with anecdotes of love and paper chasing stuffed in between.  

This Generation appropriately carries a City of Angels theme with tracks like “64’ Impala” and “Reina De Barrio (Ghetto Queen)” lending a radiant climate. It also doesn’t hurt that full production is handled by K-Salaam & Beatnick, whose intrinsic expertise is worth its weight in gold. Take for instance “Yellow Tape,” where hollow drums and a seamy melody create a mischievous setting. Then on “Peace Treaty,” K-Salaam & Beatnick lock down a funky backdrop that would make DJ Quik proud. With an overload of synth, “Future Love” is more experimental as Murs and Fashawn pine for their past flames. Slower in tempo, the track loses a bit of traction that’s established early on, but it’s one of only a few records that miss the mark. With each track averaging in at the three and a half minute mark, there’s very little room for frills or features as Murs and Fashawn focus their collective efforts on formulating records with purpose, such as “And It Goes.” Over a melancholic beat, the two lament on the trials of street life.

“Heartbreaks & Handcuffs” delivers a more hopeful message. Providing words of societal insight for the youth, Murs raps, “I dream to make a better day / Making music, saying things that they would never say / I come from the same hood with no hope / But never use that excuse to slang dope” while Fashawn’s verse examines the absence of governmental involvement within the inner city. Match thought-provoking material like that alongside lyrical acrobatics (“Slash Gordon”) and an occasional loose-witted cut (“The Other Side”) and This Generation is a well-balanced project that covers all the relevant topics.

Murs and Fashawn forge an exceptional chemistry on This Generation that more importantly doesn’t compromise their stylistic individuality. Though Murs has been a fairly successful partner to other artist collaborations (specifically Slug of Atmosphere and 9th Wonder), his kinship here with Fashawn is one that should work as a celebrated launching pad for both emcees, and hopefully will stand as a first project of many we’ll hear in the future.


  • Anonymous

    Well, it's not wack. But it's not a classic either. Both of their last solo albums were better than this collabo. And the beats could have been better. Was Ski Beatz or Exile not available?

  • Anonymous

    what a nice surprise i knew murs was nice but never heard of fashawn

  • micfuna

    Solid beats + 2 dope MCs = Classic material. Was on my list of most anticipated albums this year. Was as good as expected.

    • jg

      Really? I'm a huge Fash fan but I've grown out of BMW, probably because of overplaying it. I been waiting for him to drop another classic and though this was a quality project it definitely disappointed me. I''m hoping he drops The Ecology soon and it's everything I'm hoping it to be.

  • Sonny rene

    Sick album, Slash Gordon is one of the best tracks of the year.

  • Hkan

    Hevey Album Nice combo

  • anonymous

    It was ok, I didn't really enjoy this album as much as I expected. I'm more looking forward to the Murs & 9th Wonder album. 3/5

  • XXL

    Collaborating with another artist for an entire album is nothing new to Murs. The veteran MC has put out LPs with 9th Wonder (Murrays Revenge, Sweet Lord and Fornever) and Terrace Martin (Melrose), respectively. Fashawn, on the other hand, has typically flown solo. Still, the two Californians found a common ground to band together for This Generation, a cohesive project centred the unification of people with various individualities. The beginning to the hook of The Other Side is as follows: Theres someone Id like you to know, hes the other side I never show. Now, it would seem that Murs has practically shown every side to him over the years and, in many ways, so has Fashawn, who was labelled as the most artistic XXL Freshman out of the 2010 class. But there are still inevitably veiled layers, and there are many in the world who do not disclose a certain side to themselves out of insecurity of being ostracised, and that is who they are rapping for on this trackyet not the entire LP. On Peace Treaty, the expressive duo discuss their neighbourhoods and, more specifically, the two most dominant gangs in Cali, Bloods and Crips, just kicking it together, a different look at unification. Then, with Heartbreaks & Handcuffs, the Murs and Fash highlight those in the government and those whom are not, questioning why justice is one-sided but at the same time noting how those who are not receiving justice are brought closer together by it (No justice, its just us) without dismissing the idea of all joining forces ( We've got to find a way, we've got to find a way). For all that, this is not a We Are the World hip-hop album; Future Love is about past intimate relationships that ended because of infidelity. Reina De Barrio (Ghetto Queen) was also about intimate relationships, though minus the infidelity and plus much more illustration, producing some of the albums best narrative verses. On Slash Gordon, the two go in on the albums most distinctive instrumental and just interchange bars during each verse, finishing each others rhyme, an art Jadakiss and Styles P mastered long ago. Beatnick and K-Salaam handle all of the production for the LP, a wise decision as the production team puts together beats that mesh well with both MCs delivery, tight rhymes and the content of each record. This was Murs and Fashawns first LP together, yet it does not sound like it. The two feed off each other well, resulting in good music with a message, more often than not. Its unclear if the two will follow up this effort with another, but it seems like they should and sooner than later.

  • DJ Booth

    A generation is defined by sharing similar cultural experiences, and in hip-hop a new generation is born every five years. In 2012 Drake, J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wiz Khalifa and Kendrick Lamar are five of the biggest names in rap; five years ago they were essentially unheard of on the national stage. Five years before that, Nelly, Ja Rule and Eve ruled the hip-hop landscape; I dont think I even have to say thats no longer the case. So MURS may only be ten years older than Fashawn, but in hip-hop years that might as well be a century. MURS first nationally known album, The End of the Beginning, dropped in 2003, when the internets effect on music was just first starting to be felt. Fashawns first nationally known project, Boy Meets World, dropped in 2009, and became nationally known in large part because of the internet. That means that the duos new album, This Generation, may just be hip-hops first truly cross-generational collaborative album ever. Thankfully though, This Generation is so well-made that we can choose to view it as an album featuring the merging of generations, or an album simply featuring two dope west coast emcees doing the damn thing. Take your pick. While there may be ten years between them, MURS and Fashawn have far more in common than they have differences. Or to use MURS own words in the intro to The Other Side, When we first started this project, me and Fash really didn't know each other too well / but as we started cooling in the studioI realized, you really on some hood shit. That, MURS, is an excellent point. Both emcees are often given the backpack rapper label because they rhyme about more than just the streets, but that doesn't mean they've left the streets. That theme comes up throughout This Generation as Other Side details both rappers struggle to be their own, multi-faceted selves in the face of a public eager to box them in. Similarly, And It Goes is as gritty as it gets, giving us a view of a life spent just inches away from death, as does Reina de Barrio, a love song that replaces roses and chocolates with cartels and arrests. But the best proof that Murs and Fash can ride with the best of them is 64 Impala, an appropriately smooth and west coast soaked cut not afraid to declare, F**k a 600 Benz, give me a 64 Impala. Make no mistake, they may be intelligent, but MURS and Fashawn will still lay you outintelligently. But that doesn't mean that some real sonic ground isn't broken on This Generation. The title track finds duo Beatnik & K-Salaam, who produced the entire project, bringing in elements of pop and reggae for an irresistibly good times cut, a blueprint they flip again on Slash Gordon, which also bears the distinction of finding the two emcees trading bars in classic cypher fashion. Id also throw Peace Treaty, a cut that manages to delve into inner-city violence without either glorifying or preaching, into this group of cuts that aren't afraid to aim higher than your average offering. MURS and Fashawn have separately distinguished themselves as emcees that can walk the fine line between embracing their individuality without losing touch with their collective identity, so its only right that effect is doubled on This Generation. We can learn a lot from This Generation: that hardship can fuel creativity, that sometimes two is better than one, that its possible to elevate above the streets while still staying grounded. But perhaps the most powerful lesson is that dope hip-hop cant be contained to any one generation. Music this good transcends chronology, so whether youre 85 (what up grandma?), just getting your drivers license or anywhere between, youre all welcome into This Generation.

  • Jose Gonzalez

    Overall pretty dope. Beats were alright in a way.

  • Anonymous

    I couldn't get into this at all. Not sure if it's the production or if they just don't mix very well.

  • carAnthony

    One of the best releases this year for me.

  • E

    Smooth beats and great chemistry. A lot of it sounds the same, but all of it is quality...

  • Anonymous

    Denzel washington to Murs 'don't you be kissin' no man' oh, that was to Will, Murs should have taken that advice as well.

  • jg

    i have been looking forward to a full-length Fashawn project since BMW, my fave album all-time. This is a quality listen, but t disappointing follow-up, I feel like working with anyone else waters down Fash's exceptional skills. I hope he finishes of the Ecology and comes back hard.

  • anonymous

    dope project, but I preferred Murs' last solo album a little more

  • shit sandwich

    Massive letdown. I'm stunned that DX gave this a 4/5, but after that Slaughterhouse review... All bets are off.