Back in 2002, Murs was really, really good. He’s just separate from his band Living Legends, and he dropped an EP built around blues singles that’s become an underground cult classic: Varsity Blues. Right after that, he dropped his collab with 9th Wonder (producer of Little Brother), “Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition,” one of the greatest underground rap albums ever.
Then, he got a major label deal and immediately fell off.
Earlier year, though, he returned with an album with Terrence Martin that was full of deft lyrics, hot hooks, and . . . Humor! Now, he’s dropping another EP, the sequel to the one that helped him make his solo mark. Varsity Blues 2 isn’t quite as good as the first one–but what sequels are (especially sequels to classics)? But it’s still got lots to recommend it. It’s got production by Aesop Rock, and his influence is clear on the verses to Bummed Out Blues–although, interestingly, the chorus is like it’s from a different song (much more R&B swing, a la Bruno Mars). There’s still a little bit of “commercial Murs” left in here, but lyrically he’s on fire and returned to form. I’d say that between this EP and his “Melrose” album, 2011 is a good year for Murs fans.