“Shades of Moo” is finally here!
In the world of hip hop, everyone has been waiting with baited breath for albums from Dr. Dre, Jay Electronica and Jersey rapper Moruf. I first heard about Moruf last August talking to my boy at Ameoba Records in LA. I was racking up on 90s CDs and he was getting some vinyls. Most of that shopping trip was him yelling at me for not having Moruf’s EP “Euphoria” with Iman Omari. I promised him I’d cop once I got back to New York. Before I could even unpack my suitcase from that trip, my boyfriend is bumping “Euphoria” saying this is what I missed during my week on the left coast. I finally downloaded it and on sight, i was hooked!
At the time, I was really beefing with hip-hop. As someone that has always been a hip-hop head (my first cassette was “They Want EFX” from Das EFX), I had become bored with it all. Production was super lackluster with the same trap drums I heard 10 years ago when I was living in Atlanta. Everyone spit with the same Southern-style flow. Bars were only about strippers, coke, and money, but they weren’t even nice 16s! I missed the rush of listening to a rap song for the first time (i still cry 10 seconds into Yeezy’s “We Major”). Hip-hop had become a total snorefest, save for ASAP and Black Hippie. Finding Moruf and Iman Omari (which then led to my obsession with Overdoz) really brought me back into the rap fold full force. To describe Moruf to anyone unfamiliar, I would need to borrow from Schoolboy Q’s verse on “Brand New Guys”.
[Digable Planets ] and [The Roots] put their ass in a blender/ sprinkle some Fugees/ and came out this n*gga”
“Shades of Moo” is everything quintessential Moruf. Singles “Homie.Lover.Friend”, “RestWell”, “Dodging Dark Clouds” and “SoulRich” from this summer’s “Cali Vibes” were the perfect anchors for the LP. Rich, jazz-influenced tracks by Madlib, Melo-X, Iman Omari, and Like make for a seamless, congruent listen. Moruf has a really distinct cadence (similar to Lil Kim’s over enuciating style) that adds the punch needed to balance the chill, laid back vibes of his music. Snippets from classic movies, my fave Jill Scott interview , and Eartha Kitt’s legendary take on love are reminiscent of 90s album skits that we all miss. Moruf also references “Mo Betta Blues” often in his music. How could you not love that? “Shades of Moo” finds itself next to my top hip-hop picks for 2013, “Old”, “Acid Rap”, “Trap Lord” and “Wolf”.
On a personal note, Moruf’s mantra “Love Over Everything” had a major impact on me this year. I got serious about adopting a yogi-ChristoBuddhist lifestyle and LOE was a big part of that. I vowed to cover everything with love and putting love first in all I do. My 2013 really benefitted from this switch. I even wound up getting it tatted on my forearm in March by my homie Sanyu for personal accountability’s sake. I never told Moruf about the tat or thanked him for that extra espresso shot in the form of LOE, but I guess it’s all out now. “Shades of Moo” is the newest addition to my “Thank You Moruf” list.
Stream it above and then be sure to download it here.
*editor’s note: the cover photo was shot by my good friend and one of the dopest people in nyc, texas.