The gulf between mainstream rap and indie hip-hop can be breached with ease. Indeed, there are plenty of tracks on Murs' latest recording, 2008's Murs For President, that would cause the typical T.I. fan to start nodding his head if he gave them a chance, including "Lookin' Fly," co-starring will.i.am. Lyrically, however, the contrasts are vast. "All these rappers want to talk about is guns and dope," Murs declares on "Can It Be (Half a Million Dollars and 18 Months Late)" — but he's got a lot more on his mind, as he demonstrates on "The Science," a bold return to the music's conscious roots. Hard to imagine that the throng on hand to see headliner Tech N9ne, author of "Psycho Bitch," will instinctively gravitate toward couplets such as "Who has the rock and who has the powder?/Who's the oppressed and who has the power?" Yet they'll dig the beats — and that's half the battle.
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