This album was released on May 17th this year. I have to be honest; I really was not looking forward to this project. I’ve enjoyed music from Keith Murray in the past, but I’d obviously be lying if I said he was an artist whose music I get excited for, especially in 2019. I haven’t enjoyed an album from him in over a decade, which I suppose isn’t actually too bad when you consider the fact that he took a 10 year break from releasing solo albums starting in 2008. I think Keith’s debut album is pretty great, and he’s got a few other good records too. I’ll post my thoughts on his entire discography a little later today. Basically all you need to know is that his music was very enjoyable when he originally came out, and he’s been on a slow decline since the late 90s. It’s not too bad though. He only has one album that I would say is legitimately bad, and it’s not like it’s a super unbearable project. The album I’m talking about is the first Lord of the Metaphor project though, which is pretty much the main reason why I wasn’t looking forward to hearing this sequel. On top of that, I hadn’t really seen anyone else talking about this record, which usually isn’t a good sign. In fact, right before listening to it, I went out of my way to search for any reception towards the project that I could find. I found a discussion about it on a forum called thecoli. I’m not really too familiar with that community, but they’re reaction towards the project wasn’t exactly positive, so, needless to say at this point, I went into this project with extreme skepticism. Oh, by the way, I just wanna say that I’m very annoyed that I couldn’t find a comprehensive list of production credits for the album. I guess it’s not that important for such an unsung record. Anyway, there was one specific detail about this album that gave me a slight glimmer of hope, and it’s the features. There are a lot of really dope, frankly surprising features on this thing. I was not expecting to see Casual and freaking Homeboy Sandman of all people on a Keith Murray project, especially in 2019.
To my surprise, I actually ended up enjoying this project for the most part. I like the majority of the material here. The biggest criticism I saw on that forum that I mentioned in the preamble was the cheap sounding production. I agree that the beats could’ve been better, but I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as they made it out to be. There were really only two tracks that I didn’t like, and they weren’t even that bad. The first track’s beat was terrible, which is really the only reason I can’t get into the song. I thought Keith was actually rapping pretty well. The instrumental from Rockwilder was difficult to stomach though. His flow was nice on the second verse, but there’s not a single rapper on this planet who could’ve made me look past that beat. It’s trash. Overall, I think the song is just mediocre. It could’ve been a good track if the production was better. The other song I didn’t really care for was Transmitter Failure, which had two incredibly random features: Mr. Cheeks & G.Dep. I wasn’t crazy about Mr. Cheeks’ apathetic & bored sounding delivery. It reminded me of a modern day 50 Cent. I actually thought he was flowing pretty well though. Keith’s flow was pretty nice too, but I didn’t care for the verse from G.Dep at all. The production wasn’t too bad, but it definitely didn’t impress me that much. It’s an okay song, but I wouldn’t listen to it again by choice. I like every other track on the album though. Two of the songs on this project are remixes of songs that originally appeared on that album from The Undergods, which I think came out in 2011. It might’ve been 2012. I can’t remember exactly when it was released. I definitely prefer these remixes over the original versions though. In fact, I didn’t even like the original versions of the songs in the first place, so it’s cool that I can actually enjoy the remixes. The first one, No Brainer, features a beat from DJ Concept, which is pretty dope. I’m still not completely in love with the song, but the remix is solid. I think it’s pretty good. The other remix, Gotta Be Real, is better in my opinion. This one is produced by DJ Supa Dave, and the beat is actually really dope. Again, it’s far superior to the original song, and I was impressed that they managed to make the sung hook from Urban Rose fit so well over the new beat. The hook itself wasn’t that great to me, but it worked. I think it’s a dope remix. The Def Squad song, Don’t Make No Sense, was really dope. The production isn’t that great, but it wasn’t really bad either. I’d say it’s an average beat. The first verse from Erick Sermon was nice, and Redman had a great verse as well. However, I actually thought Keith Murray had the best verse. The simplistic hook wasn’t anything special, but it got the job done. This was the second song on the album, and I was surprised by how much I liked it the first time I heard the project. It’s better than every single track from the first Lord of the Metaphor album in my opinion. I was even more surprised by how good the album turned out to be when I got to the next track. It’s one of just three solo songs on the album. I kinda enjoyed the beat on this track even though it admittedly sounds kind of cheap. I think Keith rapped over it really well too. I could’ve done without the F bomb, but I liked the way he was flowing, and that rhyme scheme he was using at the beginning of the second verse was really impressive to me. Once again, the hook was pretty simplistic, but it served its purpose as a break between the verses well. It’s a dope song. Track 5, Cold Blooded, was definitely my favorite track up to this point on the project. The production was pretty solid, and I actually kinda liked the hook. I don’t know exactly who those vocals belonged to, but they weren’t bad, and I loved the record scratches. The first verse from Keith was dope—that jab towards Bruno Mars put a smile on my face. I’m not familiar with that Al-J guy, but I was pretty impressed by his verse, and of course Reef the Lost Cauze killed it. It’s another great track. All In Together Now, which stood out from the tracklist due to the unorthodox features, ended up being one of my favorites on the album. Sean Price killed that first verse. That line about how he stabs little girls on their way back from school was awesome. I think that’s what he said. He might’ve used the word “daughter”” instead of “little girl.” I can’t remember. The hook from Rock wasn’t anything special to me, but thankfully both the members of Heltah Skeltah came back in to rap more at the end of the song, and they both killed it. The production was pretty cool, and Keith had a dope verse. Homeboy Sandman killed it too, as I expected. I really just wasn’t expecting to see him on a Keith Murray project. I also thought the record scratches in the song were a nice touch. That song is dope af to me. The final track, Beauty Rest, was the third solo track, and it’s another dope song. I liked the beat, but it’s far from the best on the album. The hook was nothing special, but I thought Keith rapped really well in this song. It’s not the most exciting track, and maybe not the best choice for a closer, but I definitely enjoyed it to some extent. However, my favorite track is definitely The Majors. I wasn’t familiar with this featured artist named Prince Ali, but I did some research, and apparently it’s actually Mahershala Ali. That’s right. New Blade used to be a rapper. The craziest thing about it is the fact that he was actually really dope. I genuinely thought he did a great job with that first verse. I had no idea this nigga was an MC, but the dude has talent. I wouldn’t mind hearing him rap more in the future. I’m not sure if that’s gonna happen though because this song apparently actually came out in 2009. So, at least three of the songs on this project are older tracks if you count the remixes. I’m sure some of the other tracks are old as well. Apple Music actually had this album listed as a compilation, which I guess makes sense. That’s probably why the closing track seemed like a weird ending. Compilations generally aren’t sequenced very cohesively, so I suppose that explains it. I’d never heard any of these songs before though, so I guess they weren’t originally featured on any particular project. It’s possible that some of them actually are new though. Anyway, I thought Planet Asia & Casual killed their verses just as I expected, and Keith Murray’s verse was a good finale. I also think this song has the best beat on the whole project. The song is dope af.