The Most Beautifullest Hits

As one-third of the [a]Def Squad[/a] (with [a]Erick Sermon[/a] and [a]Redman[/a]) and a solo rapper in his own right, [B]Keith Murray[/B] has carved a niche for himself...

As one-third of the Def Squad (with Erick Sermon and Redman) and a solo rapper in his own right, Keith Murray has carved a niche for himself in hip-hop as a witty and aggressive verbal pugilist. Reality, though, has a way of stalling the best-laid plans, and he's currently serving a three-year sentence for a second-degree assault he claims he did not commit.

What is striking here on this greatest hits package is the distance between verbal violence and real violence. The only real anti-social menace here comes in the form of metaphors, rhyme schemes and plain old braggadocio to prove Murray's the best of the baddest. And while it's baffling that his more reflective side is noticeably absent, selection-wise, this is still a good chance to hear him try to prove his dexterity and supremacy over his peers.

The self-explanatory 'Hostile' is typical Murray; a great, bass-heavy old-school groove with over-the-top metaphors. And the tag-team, battle-rap pyrotechnics of 'I Shot Ya (Remix)' still sound as intense as the extreme self-aggrandisement of 'When I Rap'. It's just sad the man won't be around to enjoy the fruits of his labour for a while.
6 / 10

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