MURS, Kidz in the Hall, Rapper Big Pooh, Isaiah

The U.S. presidential election is over, but the campaign continues for rapper MURS, aka Nick Carter (no, not that one), as he vies for the presidency of hip-hop.

The 10-year veteran of Los Angeles's underground scene released his 13th album (counting those with projects such as Living Legends), MURS for President, this past September. As usual, the bulk of the album's lyrics relate directly to MURS' personal experiences as a still-touchable MC not quite yet playing in the bigs. That situation, however, might have finally changed for this upstart candidate. Now boasting a Warner Bros. contract, he nevertheless continues to lampoon the pigeonholes into which MCs are known to fall; he describes his music as "Sitcom Rap," taking elements from everyday life and making them entertaining.

So, no, he's not Jay-Z, in terms of style or campaign contributions. But keep in mind that Carter's stage acronym stands for Making Underground Raw Shit. And that "shit," by the way, includes the two "tribute" albums dedicated to Christina Ricci and Lisa Bonet, released under the name of his side project Felt. That project is also co-piloted by Minneapolis' Slug, one of the founders of the Rhymesayers record label. Both albums were gentlemen's wagers between the two as to whom had the better chance of boffing either actress. As you'd guess, that particular race remains a tossup.

Chicago's Kidz in the Hall (no, not those ones), Tucson's Isaiah and North Carolina's Rapper Big Pooh (of the stellar Little Brother) open.

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Eric W. Saeger

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