Featuring big, soulful beats, courtesy of EPMD's Erick Sermon, and surprisingly strong guest spots from Tyrese and Method Man, hip hop's long-standing tough guy throws himself fist-first back into the fray after a four year hiatus with Rap-Murr-Phobia (The Fear of Real Hip-Hop). Despite the title, this is not just another collection of unsubstantiated braggadocio backed by empty production. Instead, the album, while certainly not consciously, does a good job of balancing Murray's notorious sense of humor ("You soft as yogurt!") with tales of his hard life, party jams and criticism of whack MC's. Murray celebrates the kind of rap he made his name on without shunning his contemporaries, while embracing ass-shaking bass and warm, introspective rhymes simultaneously. "For those who don't know or forget, To make you happy with Mary J, who'd Puffy come to get? Me!" he spits on "Nobody Do It Better." Daddy is just one of the names he drops on the track, but these aren't the sad boasts of an MC well past his prime. No, Rap-Murr-Phobia is a pertinent and fresh album an acknowledgment of the form's past glories and a celebration of its current mainstream popularity. But most of all, it's just pretty damn enjoyable.
Marisa Brown writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.