H.L.'s 10th Favorite Def Jux Recording

(The End of the Beginning; 2003)

As one of the few artists fortunate enough to forge a legacy prior to signing, Murs was a notable acquisition for Def Jux. His subsequent releases on the imprint featured 9th Wonder's last wind of efficient yet monotonous production. In contrast, Murs' Def Jukkie debut employed sixteen different producers to accommodate a wide array of adventurous subject matter, ranging from Paul Brickman tributes to black skater anthems. But the prospect of El-P and Murs collaborating for the first time since their 1998 freestyle over Siah and Yeshua DapaED's magnum opus was the obvious selling point for The End of the Beginning. The results were spectacular. Not only does 'The Dance' conjure images of the dystopian future Kanye West and Tyler The Creator struggle to manufacture nearly a decade later, but it also represents a fascinating bizarro world where Murs can host sincere interventions for proponents of underground rap and El-P can brag about Cannibal Ox's massive first week sales.