The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me

The White Mandingos

This album really should have been buried by its ambition, but somehow found its way through the sheer weight of moving parts, genre collapsing and humor amidst lofty topics to make for one of 2013’s best. Rapper Murs, Bad Brains bassist Darryl Jenifer and Ego Trip magazine editor Sacha Jenkins team up for an album that is as much rock as it is rap, but never what we usually call “rap-rock.” Ghetto is a loose concept record (they’ve referenced The Who’s Tommy in interviews) with Murs playing the character Tyrone White, who experiences life and love after signing a major label deal. Hip-hop’s modern era has done a poor job tackling race (and for that matter, love), but Murs and company have made a tremendous contribution to the conversation that should be required listening.