Murs and 9th Wonder continue their prolific and consistent collaboratory output with the release of ‘Brighter Daze’.
The album gets underway with ‘The Battle’, which finds Murs dropping heartfelt, decisive rhymes over a crisp boom bap production laced with tasteful horns that announce the return of the legendary MC/producer partnership. ‘God Black/Black God’ follows, and it’s another standout; Murs drops a series of observations, formatted in his unique writing style. With intelligence, grit and authenticity, Murs’ veteran flow lands perfectly on the dusty, traditional hip-hop production that has made 9th Wonder one of the most reputable producers of the last few decades. The seamless beat switch-up on here is executed very successfully too.
‘Lover Murs’ is a laidback, smooth and soulful cut, and the Los Angeles MC’s gravelly tone and slick lyricism (he’s ‘rarer than the Based God’) makes the track a standout. And I know i’m not a woman but ‘Get Naked’, the following track, is also one of my favourites. Compton raised rapper Problem makes a really impressive guest appearance on this track; his unorthodox flow is both calm and collected, as well as being raw and energetic. The crisp, snappy snare of ‘Wait…Back It Up’ hits hard; 9th Wonder’s chops have never really been it doubt, and this LP reaffirms that he hasn’t lost any of his creativity, ability or soulful influence.
‘If This Should End’ continues the sample-based production and Murs’ unique style, attitude and charisma makes ‘Brighter Daze’ a really engaging listen. Their partnership has always sounded natural and organic, and this is still the case, resulting in a cohesive and satisfying soundscape. ‘Walk Like A God’ is a slow-paced, emotive cut, and it’s superbly executed once again. Murs and Wonder recruit North Carolina MC Rapsody, who has been a very consistent and under-rated MC for a number of years, as well as independent LA artist Propaganda, who both impress with their intelligent, heartfelt verses. ‘No Shots’ is a laidback posse cut, featuring Mac Miller, Vinnie Radio and Franchise (of the Pittsburgh duo The Come Up Boys), as well as Florida up and comer Choo Jackson, and makes for a late highlight.
‘Brighter Daze’ is an excellent project, and it’s free to download so you’ve got no excuse really. The beats and rhymes are near enough faultless; the production is soulful, the writing technical and personal, and the sound clear and crisp. The features are well chosen too, and nobody disappoints or sounds half-hearted. The LP is another to add to the pair’s extensive discography of quality albums.
By Sam Bennett