Murs: 3:16 - The 9th Edition

A few years ago another West Coast hip hop group, Jurassic 5, had a minor hit with a song called "Quality Control". Apparently Murs was listening, taking notes, and learning to also trim the fat, because at just over 35 minutes, the excellent 3:16 - The 9th Edition, his second full-length on Def Jux, manages to be utterly and completely lacking of filler. The "quality" has been controlled; it's all that's left.

Murs is from Los Angeles and 9th Wonder, the beat maker, is from North Carolina with the end result of this bi-coastal hook up falling stylistically somewhere between Tupac and Souls Of Mischief. Not a bad thing at all, you know? The beats are smooth, banging, and at times understated, allowing plenty of room for Murs' musings on the state of hip hop, gangstas and young love.

You might be tempted to label him a confessional rapper, due to his predilection for talking about his feelings and his past, and you may even bandy about the term emo rapper(ugh), but when you hear him use the self-deprecating line "(I'm) more Coldplay than Ice-T.", describing his way with the ladies, all becomes right in the hip hop world. It's Murs' ability to straddle the mainstream/backpacker fence that will make 3:16 a true and long-lived hip hop classic. Keep talking Murs, I'm listening.

Bradley Whittle

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