Murs for President

For the past 11 years, underground rapper Murs has been releasing underground hip-hop filled with raw emotion, slick lyricism and feel-good production. In that time, he has released seven solo records and contributed to groups like 3MG, Living Legends and Felt (a duo with fellow rapper Slug, who is the main MC in the group Atmosphere). Now, Murs is putting his music out for the masses with his seventh album, “Murs For President.” The highlights of the album are the two back-to-back tracks about love. Perhaps the best song of the album, “Me & This Jawn,” serves as an ode to the love of his life. The song has a soulful vibe, which helps Murs to effectively portray his affection. For example, when he is narrating the way they met, he rhymes, “You said yes, I guess out of pity/ Had me hella happy, I would skip around my city/ She really likes me! I called right away/ You waited 50 hours, I counted night and day.” He doesn’t hide how pathetically in love he was, rather cherishing the fact that he and his girlfriend have “made a house to a home.” Murs follows up the song with the equally impressive “Love & Appreciate II” (part one was on an earlier album). Singer Tyler Woods croons the chorus, and Murs once again weaves heartening lyrics. Murs’ strong lyrics also support a positive worldly message on several tracks. For example, in “Can It Be (Half a Million Dollars and 18 Months Later),” he raps, “The future all depends with the power of our quotes/ The power of our pen, the power of a vote.” The song features an upbeat instrumental, and the sample “Can it be I stayed away too long?” from Michael Jackson’s “I Wanna Be Where You Are” fits well with the mood of the track. “Murs for President” also includes a few somber tracks about personal strife. “A Part Of Me” is one of several rather melancholy songs about lost love. Murs laments, “I didn’t think you’d do it, you’d really leave me/ If I did it’d be different, believe me.” The lyrics in this song, however, cannot match the emotionally-powered chorus where guitar riffs accompanies an unidentified singer. Another breakup song features lyrics that are more humorous. “Somebody told me you already moved on/ I broke up with you, you aren’t supposed to get your groove on,” he raps. Unfortunately, the song has a poor instrumental that features an annoying wailing as a sample. Most other tracks on the album are rather forgettable. Songs like “Lookin’ Fly,” “The Science” and the introductory track fail to capture the listener’s attention. The LP ends with “Breakthrough,” in which Murs once again rhymes with a positive vibe. The song is an appropriate end to the album and features an instrumental made by one of Murs’s good friends (and critically acclaimed producer) 9th Wonder. Overall, “Murs For President” features some standard Murs lyrics and soulful vibes, despite his attempts to cross over to a more mainstream album. Murs excels more when he addresses worldly topics or narrates the pain of his life as opposed to the default topics of typical rap, like trying to seduce women or bragging about himself. Despite a few misses, Murs has created a soulful album that is definitely worth a listen Grade: 5