Murs End of the Beginning

The Living Legends may be the hardest working crew in hip-hop music, with numerous self-released albums sold over the last decade during successful tours throughout North America, Europe and Japan. With End of the Beginning, Murs emerges as the first of the Legends to release an album outside of their own label, inheriting the unenviable position of proving to the industry that the Living Legends are marketable. Except for the up-tempo, tongue-twister "You and I," and "Last Night," the musical equivalent of John Singleton's Boyz In The Hood, End of the Beginning is mostly high-quality album filler until "Happy Pills," seven songs deep. After that, it becomes pretty much hit after hit, excluding "Please Leave." Production comes from the likes of El-P, Blockhead, Sunspot Jonz, and Ant, among others. Label-mates Aesop Rock and El-P, and Living Legend group 3MG (Murs, Eligh and Scarub), all lend guest vocals. However, they're overshadowed by Shock G and Humpty Hump on "Risky Business," the humorous experiences of an impromptu party at Murs' house that culminates in Murs connecting with a girl and asking Humpty, "If my parents come in, just tell them the Burger King story." Murs' skilful mix of humour and serious subject matter told from the perspective of the average person over a collection of great beats makes End of the Beginning a good sell for the Living Legends crew. (Definitive Jux)