If a rapper rhymes about his 20″ rims, he sells a million albums, despite the fact that maybe 30 of those people are actually rollin’ on dubs. If a rapper rhymes about killing people, he sells a couple million as well, despite the fact that none of those buyers have ever killed anyone. So what about someone who raps about everyday shit that most of the world can relate to? Not only that, he rhymes over ill beats and is one of the best emcees on the left coast. Meet MURS, Living Legend, Def Jukie and your new hero.
While MURS has a thick catalog of solo material, most only know him for his Living Legends work since his past solo stuff has nearly no promotion or distribution. Nevertheless, he has an intense following and his debut on Def Jux is met with great anticipation. Don’t expect that unmistakable Def Jux sound though, El-P‘s fingerprints are there on a few tracks but MURS brings a new sound to the table. The lead-single, “God’s Work,” is a brutally honest song about life with a 9 to 5 and it acts as prelude to the truth found in all MURS‘ rhymes. He shines the brightest when he questions today’s youth on “Brotherly Love.” “I seen this kid the other day with ‘murder’ written on his shirt and never been to a funeral/now am I out of touch if I say its unusual?/This dude will sing a love ballad to his homeboys before a young lady/now ain’t that crazy?/If you didn’t love that bitch why’d you make her keep your baby?/oh abortions not right but just the other night you was a killa pullin’ triggas before you have a fair fight.”
MURS sounds off on his relationship with the industry and his fans on “You and I,” all the while tearing the beat up with an up-tempo flow. Not one to do any thug posturing, MURS tells the story of his hood as a warning, not a celebration on the lovely “Last Night.” There are countless other tales that anyone can relate to; “Please Leave” (unwanted houseguests), “Transitionz As A Ridah” (ode to skateboarding) “Risky Business” (party gone wrong featuring Shock G and Humpty Hump!), and “B.T.S.” (inability to save money).
From start to finish MURS rips the mic with a fury, none more than on “Got Damned?” where he vents like a motherfucker to incredible results. Aside from a couple spots, the production holds his weight and then some. Ant (of Atmosphere) blesses him with a beat guaranteed to put a smile on your face on “18 w/ a Bullet,” and MURS spits touching optimism that is just too rare in hip-hop.
It really doesn’t matter what kind of music you listen to, MURS is for everybody. He brings a harsh honesty and sense of humor to his so-called sitcom rap (“taking everyday life and making it entertaining”) that anyone can relate to. …The End of The Beginning is also the most accessible Def Jux album yet with dope beats that will appeal to all comers. MURS not only brings the best album of the new year, he does it his own way. Yet another classic from the Def Jukies.