West Coast veteran rhyme-slayer Murs, Bad Brains founding member Darryl Jenifer, and Ego Trip co-creator Sacha Jenkins SHR have teamed up to form The White Mandingos, announcing the release of their debut full length, The Ghetto is Tryna Kill Me, on June 11th, 2013 through Fat Beats. The album is a hugely ambitious concept record told from the perspective of Tyrone White, a rock band frontman from Harlem’s Polo Grounds housing project. Jenifer and Jenkins production style is boundless, blurring the boundaries separating hip hop, hardcore punk, metal, and R&B, providing the album’s narrative with a vivid, enveloping sonic backdrop.
The album’s foregrounded confrontation with issues of race and identity is informed by Jenkins’ background as a writer and satirist. “I think a lot of folks will be able to relate to Tyrone and his struggles,” Jenkins says. “He feels misunderstood- by his women, his friends, his people. And that misunderstanding sometimes affects who he is and who he truly wants to be. Should he not be playing this music because he’s black? And who the hell is in the position to tell him what to do anyways?” In the end the listener will truly understand Rakim‘s adage, “It ain’t where ya from, it’s where ya at.”