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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released August 9, 2019 | Murs 316 - Jamla - EMPIRE

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Miscellaneous - Released March 23, 2004 | Murs 316

Virtually alone among contemporary rappers, Murs tells a straightforward story with every rap, and listeners looking for more to love following one of the most acclaimed rap records of 2003 (The End of the Beginning) will be glad to find ten more tracks of equal value on Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition. At some point during a hectic 2003 that saw him doing close to 200 shows, Murs decamped to North Carolina to join producer 9th Wonder (Little Brother) for that rare thing in post-gangsta rap -- a dedicated rapper/producer session. While he claims he's "more Coldplay than Ice-T," this is a gangsta record through and through, though one from the viewpoint of a common-man hustler who walks the grocery store parking lots ("H-U-S-T-L-E"), spits raps about not being able to pick up any women ("The Pain"), and drops a deft two-minute tale ("Trevor an' Them") about witnessing the most inept heist of all time. 9th Wonder's productions are the perfect balance for Murs' raps, spreading the '70s sweet soul samples all over the record and keeping the beats simple and chunky. Despite a few of his trademark entertaining tracks, Murs is dead serious on this record, eulogizing a friend on "Walk Like a Man" and laying out his sexual exploits (with far too many details) on "Freak These Tales." It's that balance of frankness and occasional humor that makes 3:16: The 9th Edition every bit the informed record that its predecessor was. ~ John Bush
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Miscellaneous - Released February 25, 2003 | Murs 316

A ten-year hip-hop veteran, Murs doesn't want to be called an up-and-comer anymore, and he proves his maturity with one of the most refreshing rap records in years, an excellent debut for Definitive Jux named The End of the Beginning. Murs has an old-school flow that recalls Ice Cube, and unlike many in underground rap, he's not only got a clever delivery but a lot to say. What immediately impresses about the album is the ample variety of moods and material: "The Night Before..." is a streets-is-watching nightmare with a vicious chorus ("Last night I almost got shot on my block/Not the block where I live at/The block where I chill at"), but a few tracks later, Murs is inviting Digital Underground's Shock-G over to his pad for "Risky Business," and looking on in disbelief as Shock's alter ego, Humpty Hump, wreaks more carnage than The Cat in the Hat (sample: "Yo, is your Dad's Rolls blue?/Cuz I got bad news..."). "Transitions az a Ridah" has him remembering good times on a skateboard and ordering a moment of silence for all his favorite spots, while Aesop Rock stops by for the deliriously stoned "Happy Pillz." Whether he's ordering past-their-prime rappers off the mic ("Please Leave") or stressing over how much his favorite action figures cost ("BT$"), Murs is the most entertaining, least affected rapper since Biz Markie, and with the skills of Ice Cube it's clear that unlike the Biz, he's no novelty act. As usual, he says it best, on "The Night Before...": "Now some claim gangsta rap's to see an end of the streets, but it's use is an excuse to pretend over beats/So I'm-a lend my speech to all within my reach to tell what really goes on, from sales to the streets." ~ John Bush
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released October 28, 2005 | Record Collection Music

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 16, 2018 | Strange Music, Inc

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released August 25, 2015 | Strange Music, Inc

Like Tech N9ne's 2015 effort Special Effects, Murs' album Have a Nice Life flirts with mainstream to the point of almost f'n with it, but this blow against the empire is an altogether better LP. Every track here punches with a purpose, beginning with the opening title track, which marks the rapper's move to Tech N9ne's imprint with "Strange Music is the label" and then hits upon all the benefits with the on-point "so now your boy is able." Able to draw myriad slick productions that go indie ("Skatin' in the City" finds Mayday's Plex Luthor adding some Best Coast-ish guitar), underground ("PTSD" with E-40 is the kind of dark at home on Strange), or offworld (the great "Okey Dog" is a funky redo of the Kraftwerk sound), but not so odd that the crowd-aimed album goes off course. "Black Girls Be Like" is a big James Brown blast of power soul with Murs giving the ladies some praise, while the provocative "Pussy and Pizza" plays Xbox, spends all its extra money on Jordans, and makes him the thinking man's Caligula, or maybe just a freedom fighter who's contradictory and crass under it all. Until the man records a song called "Pussy and Pynchon," it'll be up for debate in the mind of his detractors, and yet the "educated doesn't always mean politically correct" stance of the album is arguably refreshing, plus, with so many alluring productions underneath, it might woo a puritan into a porno shop. Beating your label boss at his own crossover game is a bold move, but don't expect anything less from the shameless and smart Murs, especially when he's in top form. ~ David Jeffries
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Miscellaneous - Released December 20, 2002 | Murs 316

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released September 29, 2008 | Warner Records

With a major-label contract on the line (not to mention that presumptive presidential nomination), Murs was obviously ready to put his best foot forward -- and yes, Murs for President is just as ambitious as the title indicates. With a parade of tracks -- message tracks, lovers tracks, just-hanging tracks, back-in-the-day tracks, treat-her-like-a-queen tracks, political-outrage tracks, comeback tracks (subtitled "Half a Million Dollars and 18 Months Later"), life-on-the-road tracks -- Murs apparently wants to be all things to all rap fans (not a bad quality in someone hungry for higher office). Such a variety of themes isn't new for the underground's most ambitious rapper; it's only appropriate for one of the best tale-spinners in hip-hop, a West Coaster who once looked up to fellow storytellers E-40 and Ice Cube. And by including a fair share of tracks produced by 9th Wonder, it's reasonable for fans to hope that Murs would be able to bring along everything that made him a critical part of the rap underground on his trip to the mainstream. But it's clear from listening that all the rough spots (read: interesting eccentricities) that made Murs so special in the past have been polished right out of this major-label product. Guest spots for new labelmate will.i.am and Snoop Dogg do little to further the album, and the productions, with a few each from 9th Wonder and DJ Quik associates, don't do much to captivate listeners either. As with politics from the past to the present, Murs for President is energy without subtlety, clearly lacking a sense of humor as well as the back-and-forth interplay of Murs' best records -- what you could call shades of gray, as opposed to black and white. ~ John Bush
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 16, 2018 | Strange Music, Inc

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Miscellaneous - Released October 11, 2016 | Murs 316

Playing like a long, impassioned love letter to hip-hop until it swerves at the end, Murs’ collaborative album with producer Ski Beatz comes alive when it’s singing the praises of “Eazy-E” or honoring A Tribe Called Quest with “67 Cutlass,” a new version of the “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”-style story track. Key cut “Hip Hop and Love” name-checks ATCQ along with MC Lyte and others, all while Beatz’s production tastefully bubbles underneath like some post-disco track from the most fashionable part of Italy. Horns and bluesy guitars are what Beatz brings elsewhere, and it’s a testament to the always entertaining, sometimes enlightening Murs that the album hangs together thanks to his words. Fans worried that he’s laid off the political material should check the killer closer, “Animal Style,” an about-face in tone that leaves the listener decimated and downtrodden with its shocking story. ~ David Jeffries
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released September 29, 2008 | Warner Records

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Miscellaneous - Released October 10, 2000 | Murs 316

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 10, 2017 | Strange Music, Inc

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Miscellaneous - Released April 5, 2011 | Murs 316

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released May 30, 2019 | Murs 316 - Jamla - EMPIRE

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 19, 2019 | Murs & 9th Wonder - EMPIRE

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 19, 2019 | Murs 316 - Jamla - EMPIRE

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released February 14, 2018 | Strange Music, Inc

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 9, 2018 | Strange Music, Inc

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 22, 2018 | Strange Music, Inc