Album review: Murs & 9th Wonder's 'Fornever' [UPDATED]
Gunning for the title of "hardest-working man in hip-hop," Murs has released 30-plus albums and EPs over the last 15 years, including collaborations with Slug of Atmosphere and his own crews 3 Melancholy Gypsys and Living Legends. Yet arguably his most memorable moments have arrived in tandem with the North Carolina producer 9th Wonder.
"Fornever," the duo's fourth collaboration and the first of 10 albums that Murs plans to release in 2010, does little to expand upon an already established template. As consistent as the Southern California climate and equally affable, 9th Wonder's soulful, sun-kissed beats blend like barbecues and backyards with Murs' relatable raps about subjects as varied as his affinity for Asian girls and the perils of cigarette addiction and dating porn stars ("Vikki Veil").
Rather than broaden their sonic boundaries, the pair mix things up by wisely enlisting a spate of highly quotable collaborators, including seminal local staples Kurupt, Verbs and Sick Jacken. But Pomona's Suga Free contributes the album's most rewind-worthy bars on "Let Me Talk," inveighing against excessive flatulence and rhyming "Impala" with "Medulla Oblongata."
Ultimately, "Fornever," might not be their most indelible achievement, but with cookout season approaching, 9th Wonder and Murs have created a worthy soundtrack for the Southern California spring.
-- Jeff Weiss
Murs & 9th Wonder
UPDATE: The original version of this post stated that this is the duo's third collaboration; it is their fourth.