Murs 3:16: Walk Like a Man
Label: Legendary Music
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon
On the front cover of this DVD and plastered across the title menu are the
following words: a short film inspired by 'Murs 3:16 the 9th Edition.' If
the starting basis for a movie is "Murs 3:16 the 9th Edition" then you're already in good shape. Despite
being something of a short film itself at only ten tracks and 35 minutes in
length, the album was widely hailed by hip-hop critics as one of the best
releases in 2004, and with good reason. 9th Wonder is the musical genius whose
soulful touch has turned out classic beats on one Little Brother album after another. For his part Murs is an underappreciated
maestro who weaves together deft lyrical intelligence and street hustling like
a genetic mutant crossbreed of Pharoahe Monch and Ras Kass. You wouldn't
expect anything less than greatness with 9th and Murs on the same team, and
that's exactly what they delivered.
The movie that accompanies their already cinematic film is no less impressive.
The film follows the lives of two rap artists who are looking to make it big:
Murray (Murs) the MC and Pete (Damian Wigfall) the producer. The film opens
with the two discussing how every herb on the block wants to come up by either
rhyming off them or against them. Pete asks if this kid who wanted
to battle Murs thought he was Ric Flair, and the movie drops in a clip of the
Nature Boy himself screaming his head off. Murs responds "Nah Rick James" and
we get a clip of Dave Chappelle screaming "Fuck yo' couch nigga fuck yo' couch!"
Only a few minutes into the movie and it's already some funny-ass cool shit.
We move on to a bunch of dudes getting smoked out at the crib discussing hip-hop.
When one cat asks for a little critical analysis of whether or not Big and 'Pac
are really the two best lyricists of all time (when you put martyrdom and
hero worship aside that's a damn good question - I mean are they really better
than Rakim or Gift of Gab) they all look at him like he's smoked too MUCH.
Murs rings the doorbell and interrupts their game of dominos. Refusing to
comment on their debate, he heads to the back room to find Pete making beats.
Murs is depressed that his rap skills aren't paying the bills, and Pete
tells him you gotta love the struggle. Murs: "Don't feel too much like love
right now. Feels like I'm just fucking this bitch." Pete tells him he's got
the remedy, handwrites a label on a tape and throws it at him - "3:16."
Murs takes the tape home and throws it in his tape deck, and tries to get
in the groove to write rhymes. His girl calls in the celly though and Murs
tells her to come through. Needless to say lovemaking ensues. Afterwards
the two get into a debate about analog versus digital when she picks up a
stack of tapes off his desk, including the "3:16" joint. She asks wouldn't
a CD be better, to which he responds that the love put into making a tape
with countless dubs and redubs is symbolic of the struggle it takes to be a
hip-hop artist. Maybe he's got a point - after all mixtapes are still
around to this very day. Another girl drops by to see how Murs is doing
and she says she heard some shit about his boy Trevor, and we get a short
hilarious animated clip narrated with a Murs rap about a man who might
possibly be the world's stupidest criminal.
Now this review could run down the entire rest of this movie down scene by
scene, but if I did I'd be spoiling half the fun of watching this, and the
film is definitely worth watching. It's the classic tale of a struggling
artist trying to get ahead the right way, but beset on all sides by
negativity and people in the hood who are up to no good. If you know the
song "Walk Like a Man" that this film draws it's name from though, suffice
it to say it's very relevant to the plot when some bad shit goes down.
And here's a little food for thought - how many hip-hop films have you seen
lately that end with a quote from Nietzsche? You might think that the shit
is too deep based on that, but like 99% of the public that's the biggest
misconception about Murs. Just because he's an intelligent rap cat doesn't
mean he can't use that intelligence to craft a song anybody can relate to.
Murs isn't necessarily about going over your head, he's about going head
and shoulders over his fellow MC's with a better flow and using words to
their fullest poetic and emotional effect. What's even doper about
"Walk Like a Man" is that when the movie's over, it ain't over motherfuckers.
The special features menu includes four music videos, including one for
a remix of the song "H.U.S.T.L.E." featuring WWE superstar John Cena.
I'm dead serious about that. And if it wasn't enough that the album
inspired a short movie, guess what? THE MOVIE INSPIRED A SOUNDTRACK.
Included as a bonus disc with "Walk Like a Man" is a dope 11 song CD
that has the aforementioned remix along with dope cuts like "Love is a
Pimp" by Atmosphere and "Dead Presidents" by Blueprint.
The funny thing about "Walk Like a Man" is that any presentation by Murs
would be worth purchasing in it's own right. If this were just a short film
it would be tight on that basis alone. If this were one of the "DVD singles"
that's all the rage these days with just the Murs music videos, that would
be all to the good too. The soundtrack? You know it's all that and a bag
of chips too. Given that most retailers are only charging about $15 for
the package, you've got to figure you're getting at least one if not two
of those three damn near for free. If you've been sleeping like Rip Van
Winkle on Murs, there's no better time to get a wake-up call than this movie.
Murs is funny, thought-provoking, and as fresh in front of the camera as he
is behind the microphone; and the one thing he definitely ISN'T is
boring. If you don't believe me just rent it and see, but you'll still want
to cop it afterward to watch and listen to again and again.
Content: 9 of 10
Layout: 9 of 10
TOTAL Vibes: 9 of 10
Originally posted: October 11, 2005