Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • . . . The End of the Beginning [Definitive Jux, 2003] A-
  • Murs 3:16 [Definitive Jux, 2004] **
  • Murray's Revenge [Record Collection, 2006] *
  • Murs for President [Reprise, 2008] *
  • Love and Rockets Vol 1: The Transformation [DD172/Bluroc, 2011] **
  • Captain California [Strange Music, 2017] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

. . . The End of the Beginning [Definitive Jux, 2003]
Born 1978, which means L.A.'s Living Legends kingpin released his first single at 15 and is already an old pro on his first major-minor album. Like so many undie hip-hoppers, especially black ones, Murs sells common sense where the big boys deal mythology. He avoids beef until his best friend comes under the gun, has trouble making the rent and trouble holding onto a buck, and comes up with advice for the little brother he knows isn't him: "Keep it gangsta in your CD changer not your residence." A commanding rapper who can separate the simple beats from the dull ones, he peaks when he calls in the auxiliaries. Humpty Hump and Shock G help out on a Risky Business rewrite. And Aesop Rock joins an exasperated praise song for their favorite drug: serotonin uptake inhibitors. A-

Murs 3:16 [Definitive Jux, 2004]
A black nerd's white audience, knucklehead neighbors, and wayward dick ("And This Is for . . . ," "The Pain") **

Murray's Revenge [Record Collection, 2006]
"We're not gonna be yelling and screaming about ignorant shit" ("Dark Skinned White Girls," "Yesterday, Today"). *

Murs for President [Reprise, 2008]
How about vice principal of a small Afrocentric high school? ("The Science," "You Think You Know Me"). *

Love and Rockets Vol 1: The Transformation [DD172/Bluroc, 2011]
Quality alt-rapper tells the world how solid his career is with essential beats from solid careerist Ski Beatz, goes out on uncommonly anti-homophobic finale ("Animal Style," "316 Ways") **

Captain California [Strange Music, 2017]
His Romeo and Juliet thing is called "Shakespears on the Low," but I keep thinking Stendhal--The Red and the Blue, as fucked up and tribal as ever ("GBKW [God Bless Kanye West]," "One Uh Those Days," "1000 Suns") ***

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