It seems these days that so-called “gangster rap” has taken over hip-hop culture. This type of music can be heard blasting from the windows of Leesville students’ car windows and headphones with angry voices and intimidating verses. To what place has true, soulful hip-hop been banished?
Felt, a hip-hop group from Minneapolis, looks to “stray away from generic gang-influenced rap.” Though it started out as a joke between the two members – Murs, from hip-hop group Living Legends and Slug, from hip-hop group Atmosphere – they have collaborated and reached success in releasing three albums. These albums are titled: Felt: A Tribute to Christina Ricci, Felt 2: A Tribute to Lisa Bonet, and Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez. Their next album, Felt 4: A Tribute to Heidi Fleiss, is still in progress.
Songs such as “Woman Tonight” and “The Biggest Lie” reveal the group’s attempt to focus on personal and love-life issues: “I lack the necessary tools to help me get right / So take your place as the temporary savior / While I’m looking at your face like I’ll be tested on it later.” These concepts are rendered eloquently and realistically, creating tangible characters and situations.
Murs’ and Slugs’ emotional and somewhat aggressive styles are balanced with the flow of their songs. Moreover, original beats and lyrics create a unique and memorable sound. Lyrics from “The Biggest Lie” demonstrate the group’s attention to intimate issues: “The problem with the people that I stay surrounded with / They all wanna replace faith with a psychologist / Bring the evolution, whether thinkin’ it’s pollution / When they’re swallowing the balance, and they’re drinking the solution.”
Felt is a refreshing change of pace from artists such as Lil Wayne and Big Sean, who only seem to discuss getting “paper” and women. Easily related-to music emphasizes and creates a personal relationship between the artist and the listener. Genuine and honest, the collaboration of these two artists has effectively contributed to the hip hop genre.
Visit www.myspace.com/mursandslug to hear music and read information about the group.