Thursday, April 17, 2014

Revisiting Keith Murray's "It's A Beautiful Thing

After coming  through with two excellent albums in 1994 and 1996, respectively (The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World and Enigma), as well as the Def Squad "El Nino" album in 98 with Erick Sermon and Redman (which may be due for a revisit), plus collaborations with Tha Alkaholiks, EPMD, and even R. Kelly, Mr. Keith Murray returned in 1999 with his third album, the nicely titled "It's A Beautiful Thing".

Release date- January 12, 1999

All songs produced by Erick Sermon

1. Intro
A brief, spoken word by Erick Sermon leads us on our way.

2. When I Rap

"When I rap, competition perform disappearing acts/I jam suckas like Smuckers!"

Keith's style is definitely in tact when he raps, and that really comes across on this one, as evident by the above opening line. He might not have dropped a solo album in a year and a half prior to album #3, but he's back and he lets you know right off the bat he still has it.
*4 out of 5*

3. Incredible
Featuring LL Cool J

"I'm incredible to mix up shit like cake mix" -LL

"MCs is hostile cause they lost it/Peep my foundation, the way I reinforce it" -LL

"Hush up, I rush up inside yo cut/Make ya puss up, then buss up cause my shit bumps" -LL

 "We too hot to hold and too bold to be controlled" -Keith

This joint is a little TOO fast paced, however, it's still dope as hell. LL was still experiencing a bit of a resurgence at this point.
*4 out of 5*

4. Some Shit
Featuring Canibus and Deja Vu

"Yo this shit right here, is some shit, some serious shit!"

This was just as dope as "Incredible" if not more. Even in the aftermath of the beef with LL, Canibus was still bringing it with his guest appearances, and Mr. Murray and Deja Vu also come with tight verses.
*4 out of 5*

5. Bodega Skit

6. Slap Somebody

"Call and response" hooks were kind of on their last legs in hip hop at this point, but I like Keith's attempt here, even if it came off a little comical, lol.
*3 out of 5*

7. Secret Indictment

  I like Keith's form of storytelling here. The activities he's involved in directly (or indirectly) lands him in court, then jail. To be continued, it doesn't end there.
*4 out of 5*

8. Radio

Guy's "Piece Of My Love" sample, in terms of the beat, was a nice touch for this appropriately titled song. It would've fit in with what was being played on the radio at the time, but it wasn't.
*4 out of 5*

9. Intersection
A would be "jacker" completely gets the tables turned on him when he tries to rob Keith at an intersection.

10. Shut The Fuck Up

Well, this is apply titled I guess, lol. Good song though.
*3 out of 5*

11. Interlude

12. Media

"Everyday I got a new style hatchin/This is more than rappin, this is media hijackin"

Very good song, nothing more or less.
*4 out of 5*

13. Life On The Street
This is fairly apply titled as well, bringing another introspective touch to street life.
*4 out of 5*

14. Ride Wit Us
Featuring Erick Sermon, Redman and Too Short

Cool collaboration right here, tailor made for the ride, with or without the windows down.
*4 out of 5*

15. Jungle Boogie
Lol, the smokers should love this skit right here, leading us into......

16. High As Hell

This is not quite the sequel to "Get Lifted", but again, the smokers should love this one.
*4 out of 5*

17. Bad Day

A song like this may give off negative vibes to some, but if you listen to it closely (and take your time with it of course), there's a clear reason why he was saying it was a bad day, where it seems as though nothing good was ever happening.
*4 out of 5*

18. A Message From Keith
"Building with the spirit"

19. My Life
 Featuring Deja Vu
 This wasn't the first time we heard introspective songs with this title in hip hop, and it certainly wasn't the last. In my view, songs of this nature never get tiresome, especially when you receive them from different perspectives.
*4 out of 5*

While not quite on the level of its predecessors, Keith Murray's third album is very good. Although it was released in the first month of 1999, it was highly slept on and fell so far under the proverbial radar that to this day, I don't think a lot of fans have heard it. I give it a solid 4 star rating and a recommendation to check it out if you haven't heard it before.

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