Keith Murray: Rap-Murr-Phobia (The Fear of Real Hip-Hop)

There have been a number of rappers who had their so called “time in the sun”, whether it was 5 or 15 years ago, but are making their comeback in the name of real Hip-Hop. Most have not succeeded because they have failed to prove their relevance in the new age. Keith Murray has and will probably be known as a wordsmith that blazed remixes and could always hold his own with any MC. The most beautifullest MC’s new album Rap-Murr-Phobia (The Fear of Real Hip-Hop) (Koch) is at times a lyrical exercise, a digital resume, and a sign that we all date ourselves at one point or another. The Keith Murray that people love comes out for all to see on certain tracks that illustrate his strengths. The Tyrese-assisted lead single “Nobody Do It Better” is basically a rundown of his career and also gives us the more playful side of the Long Island native that has translated into his biggest source of fame. Another strongpoint is the continued use of his longtime Def Squad partners Redman and Erick Sermon. “Aint Nobody” brings back that El Nino feel with trio trading verses over E-double’s production. Other tracks like “Do” and “Hustle On” reveal more of the hustler/grimy side of his personality (ex: the razor in his mouth in his first video appearance). Murray’s tales are more about everyday struggle than the pseudo-Scarface stories that are told in many songs today. Despite the effort, the thing that endears him to his fans maybe his downfall in today’s fickle Hip-Hop era.Murray is standing on the foundation that built him and focusing less on the future. Fans would not expect him to flow like Lil’ Wayne or to do a whole song about his cars and rims. However, his style more than likely goes over the head of listeners that were born when The Most Beautifullest Thing in this World came out. Clever wordplay and the Tims-n-hoodies hardcore attitude doesn’t have a place with the younger fans. His production also suffers the same affliction. The beats, hooks and concepts (like skits) for the most part have been abandoned. Unfortunately, it may lead to fans having “Rap-Murr-Phobia” after all.