First things first man, you fuckin with the worst. Nah just playin’ – all Ol’ Dirty references aside I gotta give it up first and foremost to Jessie Tappis at Record Collection Music and to the people at 1% Productions. Without Jessie’s invitation I wouldn’t have been there to write a review, and even though they never got a copy of the guest list 1% cleared me to go in because I had my proof and Jessie’s phone number in hand. That’s good looking out. Big up also to the Sokol Underground, which continues to be the best little venue for hip-hop in Omaha. When it comes to hip-hop small clubs are the best place to be, even if (or perhaps especially because) they’re a little bit on the grimy and grungy side. I wouldn’t mind if the beer was a little bit cheaper ($3 at a pop is a lot when you don’t have a baller’s budget) but when you’re in for free you can still drink a little and buy some CD’s.
The night started out with Articulate & Bobby Dangerfield warming up the crowd, and I have to say Articulate was much better received here than he was at the Ghostface & M-1 show a month ago. Partly that was due to them going on first instead of before a main event (nobody waiting impatiently for a Wu-Tang member to come out) but it’s also fair to say Articulate and Bobby were really hyped up for their st and the energy showed. Dangerfield rocked a red Nebraska hat and a Public Enemy tee, while Articulate had some weird vibe going with what appeared to be a Russian fur hat. On the other hand I respect the thrift store look because neither MC was trying to front like they were big time or balling like any of us wasn’t, which would be a common theme throughout the whole night. Not knowing Articulate’s music that well at the time I took a guess and wrote down that his opener was “Rough Rugged & Raw,” which was confirmed later by picking up his CD for $10 at the gimmick table. The song got over well live and at the end he and Bobby kept shouting the line “sicker than the residue from Janet Reno’s pap smear,” which was definitely ill enough to catch my attention. Their motto for the night was “fuck the radio and all that fake shit” and they lived up to it with a set that included songs that could hang on a Rhymesayers or Anticon type level like “March of Death,” whose politest line might have been “you sound retarded like that Corky kid from life goes on.” Feelin’ that. He gave DJ CMB the spotlight for a little bit, but I have to say it wasn’t the best turntablist routine I’ve seen or heard live – far from it in fact. That didn’t hold Bobby back from ripping a rap he said had “more words than Thirstin Howl the Third” or Articulate from busting an acapella that got a warm reception from the Tuesday night crowd. Bobby and Articulate closed the night with the latter’s party song, which I thought was titled “Bacardi Coke & Rum” from the sing-along chorus but as it turns out is called “Stumblin Home” – apt for the amount of alcohol consumed in verse. Artic’ plugged his album “Against the Current” and the label website RemovementRecords.com before bouncing, and I didn’t hear any complaints about their set when it was over.
After a short delay a group named Supreme hit the stage. We were told they hailed from Atlanta, and the group featured two black guys and the most unassuming looking white guy you’ve ever seen – and for what it’s worth he was probably flipping the best verbals of the three. The first song seemed to be “Trouble Up the Road Again.” They promised a CD coming out on the 25th named “Supremacy” so you may be able to find it in stores today if you’re interested. The group member who looked like a black Unabomber caught my ear with a line about how he was fresh “like Winterfresh peppermints and my shoes look succulent” and I generally got a good vibe from their set – underground but not overly abstract or inaccessible. They rocked a couple of songs I thought were called “Sleep All Nite” and “Try Me if You Feel Lucky” while the Unabomber cat declared himself the “black Tom Cruise up in this bitch.” I hope that doesn’t mean he practices Scientology and worships Xenu.
Much to the crowd’s surprise, who like me probably thought we’d get another break between sets, Murs came out during Supreme’s set to perform their last song with them, offering us the declaration “I only smoke MC’s, I don’t smoke blunts.” He stood on stage for a minute while Supreme cleared out and shotly thereafter was rocking “Murray’s Law,” the latter of which I recognized from the lines “momma didn’t raise no fool like that” and “you don’t start gangbangin in your mid-20’s.” This set the tone for Murs entire set, which was an energetic hour that went by way too fast while he flipped between his brand new material and some of the old Murs classics. Murs kept talking smack about 9th Wonder and saying we all had to get hype because he was charge “one million dollars a beat” for any of the material on his new album. Nevertheless he proved that “Murs Rules the World” with the song of the same name, flipped “Bad Man” from “3:16”, and got down with one of the hypest tracks from his new CD “Sillygirl.” It’s even better live than on CD but if you’ve never heard it here’s a little taste:
“She thought that makin me wait, was the way to get me hooked
Now fellas, we all know the oldest trick in the book
What you do you wait around, waitin ’til she breaks down
One day at the crib, she gon’ let you break ground
Soon found out she was so real wit it
One year, no love, man who would deal wit it?
Me I fell for it, romancin, financin
A couple years back I woulda told you there was no chance in hell
But oh well, here I was
That’s how it be when you’re fallin in – umm
I wouldn’t say that; maybe it was
Them trips to the gentlemen’s club – oh well!
That got me feelin I was givin but I wasn’t gettin back
Man that story ’bout that cow and that milk ain’t a fact
Cause if you wait too long, the milk goes sour
And I like my love hot, no more cold showers”
The love theme continued with “Dark Skinned White Girl,” his tribute to caucausians who have a ghetto booty and shake it for the love of hip-hop, which at one point he flipped up and rapped to the instrumental of Raekwon’s “Ice Cream.” At some point in here he asked for and got a kiss from a cutie in the front row, and seemed postively ecstatic about it: “I’m having a good night, I got a kiss in Omaha y’all!” It’s hard for me to believe Murs doesn’t get kisses from all the fly ladies, but as far as rappers with the kind of underground credentials Murs has goes, he may be one of the most humble I’ve ever seen perform. He kept thanking us over and over for coming out on a Tuesday night to see him rip live, performed all of his classic like “H-U-S-T-L-E” and “Walk Like a Man,” and seemed genuinely reluctant to finish his set and call it a night. He wrapped up his set with “Yesterday & Today,” which again was flipped to a different beat midway (this time Kanye’s “Gold Digger” to a roar of approval from the crowd) and appropriately enough ended with the same-titled album song from “Murray’s Revenge” which finishes with these words:
“And you can holla out my name from the top of the game
And since you passed homey I promise I’ll do the same
For if a soul is avenged through the deeds of a friend
Then success has always been the best form of revenge
The lights came up, “Yay Area” by E-40 came on, and Murs came right down through the crowd and over to his merchandise table to sign autographs, staying well after the show was over. I stuck around to get my copy of “F’Real” autographed and it was well worth the wait, as we even got to chat for a minute about pro wrestling and John Cena. Bottom line – if you’re a fan of Murs, great underground hip-hop performed live or both then this show is a CAN’T MISS. Murs is one of the most energetic performers I’ve seen live and unless he’s having a bad night or you’re in a bad mood, I guarantee he’ll rock your socks off.