The White Mandingos The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me

The White Mandingos The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me
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Composed of veteran MC Murs, legendary Bad Brains bassist Daryl Jenifer and renowned co-founder of the influential Ego Trip magazine, Sacha Jenkins SHR on guitar, the White Mandingos are a super-group, of sorts, with a history of challenging conventions. This collective effort stays true to the individual maverick paths they've each forged in the past. The Ghetto's Tryna to Kill Me is ostensibly a concept album of "hardcore hip-hop with some punk in it," centering upon Tyrone White, a rock band frontman from Harlem negotiating stereotypical notions of race and identity. From this premise, and the group's moniker, subtlety is clearly not on the menu; Murs accordingly forgoes any notion of verbal gymnastics for a direct, uncompromising approach, honing in on his established narrative talents. Murs infuses his lyrics with thought-provoking insight and latent, yet articulate, fury, all served with ample doses of irony and sarcasm on tracks like "King of New York," "My First White Girl" and the arresting "Mandingo Rally" (which rides Bad Brains' "Rally Round Jah Throne"). Jenifer and Jenkins' guitar and production work are upfront, unvarnished and undiluted, but their roles are clearly not limited to the strictly musical aspects. Thematically, Jenkins' Ego Trip background clearly informed the intermittent, humorous social commentary, while Jenifer's pioneering presence likely had something to do with the inclusion of a cover of Minor Threat's "Guilty of Being White" on this searing, challenging, well-executed project. (Fat Beats)