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Murs & 9th Wonder – Fornever

on May 10, 2010, 7:58am

Every person reading this article will be able to relate to the following situation. It’s a Friday night and your buddy comes and picks you up to drive over to some mutual acquaintance’s house to just chill. The second you sit down he hands you a chord to plug your iPod (or similar music playing device, it’s tough to remember there are others out there, Apple’s got us all brainwashed), and says, “Put something on, dude.” So you pull your iPod (or similar music playing device) out of your pocket and you scroll down your artists and you’re faced with a legitimate question: Do I play something new that I just discovered that’s gonna blow my buddy’s mind? Or do I put on something classic that my buddy and I have loved for a long time?

Well, there’s some good news and there’s some bad news. We’ll start with good news: there is still a formidable amount of music in the world that will impress your friends in this situation. The bad news? Murs & 9th Wonder’s Fornever is not that music. There isn’t a single track on this album that is going to be a party starter, or even a conversation starter for that matter.

That’s not to say that this is album is a failure on the whole, however.  Two tracks in particular stand out and are worth at least a quick listen. The first, “Cigarettes and Liquor” discusses how no matter what race or demographic you belong to, you’re addicted to cigarettes and liquor all the same. He outlines what an obvious problem this is and how much money mankind wastes on the things that will eventually kill them, likening alcohol consumption and smoking habits to a slow form of suicide. And while he makes great points within his rap, he doesn’t do it in a way that’s extremely impressive. The rhymes are weak, and the beats are even weaker. The majority of this album sounds like the beats were produced on Garage Band.

The second track is an interesting outlook on the history of hip-hop entitled “I Used To Love H.E.R.”. Murs puts his love for the hip-hop game in the metaphor of a woman, always addressing hip-hop as “she” or “her”. He chronicles the shifts in hip-hop from the very beginning, starting in the “old school” era, ending up in the commercialization of the genre and the erratic use of the infamous “auto-tuner”. And while his take on this is nowhere near as moving or effective as Jay-Z’s “D.O.A.”, one thing’s for sure; from the stadium sellout rappers to the lowly undergrounders, everyone’s noticing that there are some very apparent problems in the world of rap.

Murs has decided (for better or worse) to do his part in improving the quality of rap that’s being released these days with his promise of releasing 10 albums this year, of which Fornever was the first. Unfortunately, this album is nothing to write home about, which only begs the question, where is he going to go from here? We may have expected a slump in material four or five albums into the project, but a slump on the very first installment? That’s not encouraging for the future of this project. I guess we’ll just to have to wait and see where Murs decides to go in his attempts to save the rap game.

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