“My favorite flight is the one that goes home, keep your family first cause you cant do this alone”
‘Love’: An overused and romanticized four-letter word that has ended relationships, ruined and rescued lives and a word that propels hip hop culture. Love is complex and multidimensional which makes it by far the most common theme throughout music. Murs’ Love and Rockets- Part I: The Transformation is no exception. I had the chance to meet with Murs about a month ago and he mentioned love as a driving theme for this new album. But not love in the typical sense. On this album, Murs raps about love for his sexual partners (Westside Love), love for his city of LA (Eazy-E), love for his dreams (Dream On), homosexual love (Animal Style) but most importantly love for true hip hop (Hip Hop and Love).
Murs is and has always been an extremely talented lyricist. His style is almost as though he is just talking to you at a party and it just so happens that every sentence rhymes. That’s how natural rapping is for Murs. So when it comes to love, he takes this clichéd theme and transforms it (pun intended) into his own. You can feel the truth and honesty of his words and feel like an insider to his personal experiences with love. But with Murs we aren’t talking about love for girls hanging from a pole. He’s like us, an everyday guy. On his track Remember 2 Forget, he talks about his dysfunctional relationship with an ex in a way that I, and almost every man, can relate to. When I feel upset about problems with my girlfriend, I just pop that track on and it all seems to wash away.
“I think the un-thought, I teach the un-taught. I ain’t preachin’, I’m just getting to the fun part”
For someone like Murs, lets just say he’s seasoned; he’s been around the block once or twice. Rapping since ’93, Murs finds new ways to keep himself motivated, inspired and passionate; or what I like to call Rockets. Don’t think for a minute that this album is full of slow sorrow-filled ballads about eternal love. Murs keeps it relevant and exiting, what real hip hop is supposed to do. If you are riding down the highway bumpin 67 Cutlass and your head is not bobbing to the beat, you are either deaf or you don’t actually like hip hop because that as good as it gets.
Murs brings tenacity to certain tracks that show even after all these years, he’s still hungry. Not for poppin bottles and getting fu**ed up, but hungry for love life and his passion. It just gives you goose bumps. My only criticism I have is on some tracks, frankly, he just needs better hooks. If maybe he brought in someone else to give a new flavor on a few songs, Love and Rockets would really catch on. But the beauty of Murs is that, I don’t think he cares. He makes music he enjoys and sticks to his guns; great writing and poetic imagery.
“I never had to kill no body, never had to sell coke, spend it while you can, we all go to hell broke”
What exactly are we transforming here? Is it the transformation of Murs? His music? Or maybe hip hop in general? The answer is all of the above. He’s a new man with a new wife, new message and new hair. This album shows a change in his music too with the maturation and evolution of Murs into a well rounded, passionate, enlightened artist. This album proves that he is the role model for a long-term success.
But the most important transformation of all is that of hip hop. For years now the one hit wonder pop sellout has been a mainstay on Top 40 charts and its getting annoying. How many Soulja Boys and California Swag Districts do we have to listen to in order for us to recognize what good hip hop really is. Above all, Murs prides himself on the fact that he has never had to do anything else but be himself. If you stay hungry, the gigs, money, respect and recognition will eventually come. As he writes, you “Sold your soul for that 15 min, you was on, you was in, you was hot, now you finished.” Out with the lames in with the real. Love and Rockets is a chance for hip hop to transform back to its roots; the real, musical, easy to listen to simple beats and lyrics that we all grew to love.
Lastly I think this is an opportunity for the transformation of us as listeners. If this album gets the recognition it deserves, it shows that we are able to finally weed through the bullshit and get to the music that changes us and moves us as people. So when you buy Love and Rockets; Part I: The Transformation, which you should, give it a deep listen, let it tap into your emotions and think to yourself, “When does Part 2 come out?”
Door Max August