Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

White Mandingos

  • The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me [Fat Beats, 2013] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me [Fat Beats, 2013]
Brainchild of Ego Trip's Sacha Jenkins, Bad Brains' Daryl Jenifer, and well-meaning backpack rapper Murs, this concept album about a well-meaning projects-born crossover rapper actually succeeds at saying something coherent about interracial possibility in America. Part of its secret is not digging too deep--the romances and family matters it describes partake of the contradictions everyone knows are there with the kind of clarity and humor that gatekeepers dismiss as corny only because gatekeepers think they're so great. Murs has always had trouble finding fresh material on the alt-rap circuit. By fictionalizing himself slightly, he gets to write what are essentially fables, and by adding guitars he gets dibs on a new bunch of beats. Released mid-2013, this album has no reputation I know of. But it should, because it does have heart, and that heart is made of muscle where so many fetishize marzipan. A-