By Bill Molina
By Bill Molina
To those who feel true hip-hop is dead, prepare to have your faith restored, as the third album from Murs entitled “Murs for president” is the finest that modern west coast hip hop has to offer. The first song “I’m Innocent” begins with him saying, “don’t ever let the fact you can’t be perfect stop you from doing your best,” it sets up the rest of the album perfectly.
The track “Lookin’ Fly” featuring will.i.am has a frantic Spanish trumpet, and shows how effortlessly Murs can pump out a club hitter and leaves that treaded genre in the dust. During “The Science” he explains the scientific concepts behind society keeping the poor ignorant so thoroughly, that you may not notice the flute that expertly dances all over the track.
“Can It Be” is an influential track with lyrics like, “Trying to save youth from the way of the gun/ And if I only save one/ Then my job is done/ Say what you will but you should judge me none”. “Time Is Now” forces you to bounce whether you want to or not. Since it only has a piano and an audience to clap along to, it showcases his ability to make his words into the beat, Snoop Dogg helps to infuse some old school west-coast flavor with his silky flow as well.
It is followed by “Think You Know Me,” which poses that we never truly know what is beneath the surface of anyone, especially those on the west-coast. “I probably got a higher IQ than you/ These jobs ain’t hiring what should I do”.
With the legendary Ninth Wonder dropping the beat on “Love and Appreciate 2,” Murs stands up to the mass of female objectification so present in modern rap music, proclaiming, “B word this H bomb that/ And in the midst of all of this I wonder where your moms at/ Cause if she ain’t one then tell me where the hate from/ Just calm down and maybe you can date one”.
The album would be perfect if weren’t for “A Part of Me” which has a smooth R&B singer joined with heavy rock guitar riffs-and they do not mix well. Talking about how painful it is to be alone simply sounds too apologetic and too much like a failed emulation of rap/rock without the emphasis of personal progression that the rest of the album is so rich in. If it were missing this track, “Murs for President” could easily be a contender for best hip-hop album of the year.
The final track “Breakthrough” makes you forget that minor transgression and helps resume toe tapping and neck grooving with the message that we all must break through everyday lies to find the hidden truth. “The idea that affection is a direction of progression/ not perfection/ is quite the reflection/ when given the question between love and protection/ love wins the election selection.”
Your Playlist Needs: “Can It Be”