March 6, 2007

Keith Murray - The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World (November 8, 1994)


Personally, I believe that Keith Murray is an underrated performer, who had the misfortune of putting a horrible lead single out as his solo debut. His lyrics are creative, his delivery is passionate, and he uses his real name as his stage man, not unlike Samuel Redman, Jonathan Methodman, and Genius "GZA" Johannsen.
The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World is a horrible album title, and it made for a horrible title track (the aforementioned "horrible lead single"). Almost entirely produced by Erick Sermon from EPMD (with an assist from Redman), Beautifullest maintains a consistency that few rap albums today can touch. While I may not like the lead single, its production is good enough, and I can appreciate the fact that, somehow, this album sold enough copies to go gold (which, in today's terms, would be considered triple-platinum, considering how many rap albums aren't purchased every year).
Keith Murray can always be counted on to provide some life to your average posse cut, and does so on the regular as a member of Def Squad (along with Sermon and Redman), one of the best groups out that don't make any music together. Unlike some of the acts I've featured on this blog (Jay-Z, Eminem, etc.), it's not because of internal strife, but more likely due to Murray's label (or lack of a label) situation and legal troubles (he was dropped from Def Jam in 2004 when he allegedly choked a member of his own street team, possibly for disputing the existence of Santa Claus). Def Squad actually found time to release a collabo album, El Nino, which is actually pretty good; I'll get around to that one eventually.
1. LIVE FROM NEW YORK
Just because you may think you know how I feel about this CD doesn't mean I'm happy about yet another rap album intro.
2. SYCHOSYMATIC
An okay enough introduction to Keith Murray, if anyone was ballsy enough to pick this up without having any idea who he was.
3. DIP DIP DI
He likes hot butter on his breakfast toast? Wouldn't hot butter be, I don't know, melted?
4. THE MOST BEAUTIFULLEST THING IN THIS WORLD
...would be to never hear this song again. I kid, I kid! But it does make for very poor listening.
5. HERB IS PUMPIN'
This song is fucking bananas.
6. SYCHOWARD
Keith Murray isn't above incorporating the rap interlude to make his (lack of a) point.
7. STRAIGHT LOONIE (FEAT ERICK SERMON & JAMAL)
Erick Sermon sounds straight up Master P-constipated on this song. Maybe he was trying too hard to sound gangsta?
8. DANGER
Meh.
9. GET LIFTED
The crown jewel of the album. Surprisingly about your soul being lifted into heaven. Just kidding, of course it's about weed.
10. HOW'S THAT (FEAT REDMAN & ERICK SERMON)
And here, Erick Sermon sounds like his old EPMD self, which allows Redman to swoop in , steal the track, and pawn that motherfucker.
11. THE CHASE
...
12. TAKE IT TO THE STREETZ (FEAT 50 GRAND & RON JAY)
Nothing like a posse cut featuring rappers that you've (a) never heard of, and (b) never will hear from again.
13. BOM BOM ZEE (FEAT HURRICANE G & RON HIGHTOWER)
Along with "Dip Dip Di", Keith Murray's bid for the Hooked on Phonics Best Song Title award.
14. COUNTDOWN
...
15. ESCAPISM
Produced by the Funk Doc. Sounds out of place; the beat is a little bit too slow.
16. THE MOST BEAUTIFULLEST THING IN THIS WORLD (GREEN-EYED REMIX)
Sounds exactly like it reads.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Beautifullest is not the best album in the world, and it doesn't even contain some of his best work, but it provides Keith Murray a prime showcase for his talent. If you keep in mind the fact that Keith Murray is actually a pretty good rapper, then it will make complete sense that he can't release an album today, while we can have all the "Chicken Noodle Soup" we want.
BUY OR BURN? The album itself is a bit too subdued to warrant a purchase (unless, once again, you find it for two dollars). Any rap fan should find a way to hear it at least once.
BEST TRACKS: "Get Lifted"; "Herb Is Pumpin'"
-Max

11 comments:

  1. Looking back at this album, it was kind of silly. It did mark when Erick Sermon spent more than 5 minutes on a beat though.

    And I actually liked "Most Beautifulest..."

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  2. Wow... you are nuts for not liking the single. I'd go as far as to say that the single choices for the album were better than the album itself. I've always found that 'Most Beautifullest' and 'Get Lifted' (along with 'How's That') are incidentally damn near the only songs from here worth revisiting.

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  3. I actually still love this album... And the lead single.. I thought Escapism was one of the most creative joints to come out at about that time... being high on the first listen helps a lot. Hurricane G murks Bom Bom Zee. Straight Loonie dripped with ass crack wack juice. Herb is Pumpin' and Get Lifted were ill as shit.

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  4. Nostalgia and point in time aside, I still find the single moving. Moving. Not just good, it does a lot for me even still.

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  5. the single is aight. and the era sound shouldn't be mistaken. I miss 94...

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  6. Sermon chopped Bob James' "Carribean Night" both for Keith and Red. Here for "Take It To The Streetz" and there for "Can't Wait". Red got a better one of course)

    not a jewel, but a nice album from the era. you can't miss with 94/

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    Replies
    1. Better sample I mean though this cut is ill too. And Escapism is that sit-smoke-headnod jam, it's not slow, it's not fast, it's goood, man.

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    2. red's beat on escapism, something special, years go and it's getting better. don't you feel?) k/

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  7. And Max, if you're such a Def Squad fan why there is still no Jamal album review? It's really dope and I bet you like it 'cause THERE IS NO ALBUM INTRO!!)))

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  8. i find you max to be a little harsh with this lp, it has that pure def squad flavor, combined wit that triple R (ruff, rugged & raw) vibe that makes some of the songs fantastic, even though the album as a whole is no way near a classic

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  9. Title track's pretty good. Shouldn't have been the lead single, though. I would've tried my damnest to include East Left, as THAT song deserved the attention the eventual winner got, and then some.

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