The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me (Fat Beats) is an album that speaks about self-identity in a world where everyone wants you to be what they think you are. It’s also an album about testing the limits of identities, simply wanting to enjoy everything life has to offer, even though other people will also have issue on what you enjoy or want to enjoy, everything from music to television shows to politics and life in itself. This is what MURS, Sacha Jenkins, and Darryl Jenifer present as The White Mandingos, a name that is described in one of the tracks as being “a man with a big black penis but a white mentality/sense of being”, and the issues of what it means to be this or that, from here or there, until you’re everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
Parts of this project has been promoted as being a hybrid of hip-hop and punk/hardcore, and that’s present throughout the album. In fact, Jenifer’s Bad Brains influence comes from bouncing back and forth between music that’s hip-hop and sounds that’s more aggressive with a lot of guitar and bass riffs flying around. The album has a loose concept, that of MURS dealing with who he is as a man, living where he’s from and exploring all of the stereotypes that come from not only being a black man, but as a rapper from California. We deal with someone who is faced with the known and accepted differences but wanting to challenge it all. Overall the album is a fun one, but not without social politics being put into play. If you’re familiar with MURS, you know what he’s capable of doing and he does all of it and more. Anyone who feels that hip-hop cannot made bold statements in 2013 will have to listen to this album, which leads to the question of why the ghetto would kill anyone. If it’s not about killing the physical, it’s about killing the mental and how we’re all locked into this thought prisons before we eventually realize there’s much more to us and one another than that. This album demands a lot of attention, and I hope those who will feel this is a means of taking a chance will take more out of it than a chance or two.
Without an album out in stores yet, The White Mandingos have managed to create a buzz for themselves. It will be another two months before the band release The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me (Fatbeats), and it’s not bad for MURS, Darryl Jenifer (Bad Brains) and Sacha Jenkins, who are willing to take a risk on a project like this but not caring (too much) for how it is perceived. Fortunately, there are fans who are ready to hear it in full but for now, they are sharing a bonus track from the album so have a listen to “Rubbertracks Meltdown”.