The first time I listened to The End of The Beginning I had to stop after track nine because my neck was sore. I felt like I had been rear-ended by a semi-trailer going 100km/hr and feared if I listened to the whole thing I would need hours of physiotherapy.

Real fans of hip hop understand what I’m talking about, the mechanical reaction moving your head up and down, back and forth, left and right whenever a dope beat gets dropped.

Very few albums got my head nodding like Murs in ’03.

The End of The Beginning is a five-star buffet of the intensely inventive production indie/underground label Definitive Jux is famous for. Some of the best underground producers in hip hop today–EL-P, Mr. Dibbs, RJD2 and others–provide Living Legends member Murs the foundation of tight production over top of which Murs builds a skyscraper of lyrical brick and mortar that stands much taller than most albums in the Oh Thrizzy (’03).

Unlike many underground rappers who have turned mainstream and are now just straight-up suckers, Murs is serious about keeping his shit underground. The first track, "You & I," is a testament to Murs’ affinity to his fans and the people who keep underground hip hop real.

"I realize the important thing is just being heard/by fans who love you and you love them/and honestly it’s love that moves this pen."

The song rails against the outright rape of underground hip hop and underground culture by big industry that uses it all as a marketing gimmick.

All the tracks on this album are tighter than a whore’s skirt on a Saturday night, but a few of my favourites would be "What Do You Know?" and "The Night Before" an original take on what goes on in the ‘hood for a guy that doesn’t roll with gangstas.

"The Dance" is produced by Def Jux "CEO" EL-P and he picks up the mic–need I say more?

On the final track, "Done Deal," Murs teams up with 3MG (Three Melancholy Gypsys), the crew he started with, to close out one of the best hip hop albums of 2003.

So cop The End of The Beginning and have a hip hop holidays. Peace.

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