“Are you ready to live?”
That’s the question Moruf permeates throughout Garden State of Mind: Ready to Live, the NJ rapper’s second mixtape. I had a chance to listen to this project while it was still in the oven and he had a decent selection of songs. Yet it lacked something other than the usual tidbits. It just so happened Moruf and his team are closer to finding that missing element after listening to this tape: his “sound.”
Ready To Live features some beats and loops you’ve heard from producers like Madlib, J Dilla and 9th Wonder among others. It also has a few recognizable punchlines strung about. As your reading this I bet this is the point where you think the MC is biting others on his road to recognition. The title’s play on Biggie’s Ready To Die album probably isn’t swaying your stance either. However, he does a good job of making each track his own all while sounding convincing on his experiences as an emerging rapper. There are original instrumentals on this as well as a sharper pen game in relation to Moruf’s last project. One of my favorites is “Pops” where Moruf recounts his father’s last days. It’s a short introspective account that may resonate with anyone who lost a loved one to failing health. The project is far from the harsh life lessons learned in that song. Nevertheless, it’s one of the tape’s standouts and shows his growth as an artist.
Overall GSOM: Ready To Live is a favorable starting point for 2011 from Moruf. It has a few derivative points strung about but Moo’s twist on the record’s high points keeps things fresh. Let’s see if he can keep the momentum going year ’round with more quality efforts.
Download — Moruf – GSOM: Ready To Live Mixtape