Release Date: May 19, 2015
Record label: Strange Music
Genre(s): Rap, Alternative Rap, Underground Rap
Like Tech N9ne's 2015 effort Special Effects, Murs' album Have a Nice Life flirts with mainstream to the point of almost f'n with it, but this blow against the empire is an altogether better LP. Every track here punches with a purpose, beginning with the opening title track, which marks the rapper's move to Tech N9ne's imprint with "Strange Music is the label" and then hits upon all the benefits with the on-point "so now your boy is able. " Able to draw myriad slick productions that go indie ("Skatin' in the City" finds Mayday's Plex Luthor adding some Best Coast-ish guitar), underground ("PTSD" with E-40 is the kind of dark at home on Strange), or offworld (the great "Okey Dog" is a funky redo of the Kraftwerk sound), but not so odd that the crowd-aimed album goes off course.
Murs :: Have a Nice LifeStrange Music Inc.Author: Sy ShacklefordLos Angeles' Nick Carter (aka Murs) is a hip-hop everyman. For over the past ten years, he's had a steady output of albums that convey equal facets of both his humanity and his ability as an emcee. Since 2004, this listener has copped all of Murs' collaborative efforts with producer 9th Wonder as well as those with Slug from Atmosphere under duo Felt.
Over a decade removed from his highly successful collaboration with famed beat maker 9th Wonder Murs – 3:16: The 9th Edition – Murs, one of L. A. ’s Hip Hop mainstays, is back with his latest album, Have A Nice Life.
Murs has been a lot of things in his career: president, conflicted indie rocker, scenic storyteller. While his versatility keeps him afloat, it’s tough to get a bead on exactly who Murs is and what he stands for—is he the conscious backpacker or the straight-talking street dude? He embodies the urban alternative, kids who crave artsy shit and push skateboards to the corner store, but after 18 years and many projects, there’s no single album that offers his full narrative. Have a Nice Life is perhaps the closest thing to such a release; many of these anecdotes pertain to Murs and offer insight into his California upbringing, finding the rapper at his most reflective.
When it’s time to generate publicity for a new project, many veteran rappers shamelessly laud their latest offerings with hollow phrases like, “This is my most personal project to date. ” But Murs has built a career on authenticity, and when speaking of Have A Nice Life, his debut album for Tech N9ne’s Strange Music label, the MC’s own testimony allows for a clearer picture of the music to follow: “A lot of people said, ‘I know Murs from Paid Dues and I know him from being around, but I don’t know who he is or what he does. ’” Murs is an artist who works best with a specific artistic blueprint in mind, just so long as that blueprint is rooted in principled motives.