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3/16-22/06

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Murray's Revenge

Murs & 9th Wonder

(Record Collection)

Prolific Los Angeles indie MC Murs gets an assist from emerging star DJ/producer 9th Wonder, whose laid-back, soul-drenched grooves here sound a lot closer to the music he makes with his North Carolina indie crew, Little Brother, than the banging beats he's created for Jay-Z. The meditative groove combined with Murs' modest flow and Everyman tone results in a record that's almost too even-keeled. But Murs still has plenty to say: about getting credit in the straight world, about why you should visit his hood, about white girls as caught in a trap of racial/cultural expectations as he is. Oh yeah, and about being a dread "backpacker" rapper: "You say I'm backpack 'cause I don't have a gat/Man, I just love life and I'm dealing with the facts/I'm young, I'm gifted, I'm beautiful, I'm black/And my mama didn't raise no fool like that." ("Murray's Law," "L.A.," "Dark-Skinned White Girls") -- CH

Grade: B+

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