Murs 2011 album “Love and Rockets Vol.1: The Transformation” is the most refreshing rap album I’ve ever listened to. I took a long break from listening to rap and hip hop music because of the way most rappers in both the underground and mainstream objectify women and celebrate drugs, materialism, and gang lifestyle in their lyrics.
What’s great about Murs is he doesn’t focus on these subjects. Rather, he tells uplifting stories and raps about what matters with an amazing flow.
The instrumentation isn’t just beats and synthesizer. You can hear strings, guitar riffs, pianos, bass guitar, and everything else in between. This by far is a much more unique approach for a rap album. If I wanted to listen to synthesizer and repetitive beats, I would play an electronica or trance record.
Murs of course does rap about drugs and gangsta rap in this album, but in an interesting way to say the least. Take the song “67 Cutlass” for example. It’s a fictional story of Murs raps about driving through the desert, carrying in the truck “2 pounds of brown weed from Nogales and a half a ounce of shrooms to split.” The song continues to poke fun at a classic Cheech and Chong scenario when a cop pulls them over and they eat all the shrooms before he gets to the car. This song has a melodramatic element of comedy that transforms this rap from something juvenile to genius. The song “Easy-E” is a reflection on West Coast gangsta rap and celebrates the artists that have contributed to the growth of rap. The song’s main homage is to the gangsta rapper Eric Lynn Wright, aka Easy-E, hence the title “Easy-E”.
Some of my favorite tracks on this record are songs that I would have never expected from a rapper and have single handedly revived my interest in the rap and hip-hop genres. The song “Remember 2 Forget” is about a man getting cheated on by his girl, breaking up with her, and trying to move on with his life. Ultimately, this song self-reflects on the phenomenon of moving from a previous relationship and how hard it can be. I’ve never heard a rapper touch on this subject in this way before. I say it again; this is very refreshing to my ears. The song “Dream On” is a positive, uplifting song about chasing your dreams. One of my favorite lines in the song speaks about marriage, even though it is swiftly becoming a thing of the past in this day and age: “Look, all I know is marriage, pops and moms did it Grandparents did it, both stayed committed.” Not to mention there is not one cuss word in the entire song. Not that cussing is a big deal; you just don’t see that in mainstream hip-hop very often.
This hands down is the best rap album I’ve ever heard. “Love and Rockets Vol.1: The Transformation” is relevant, positive, unique, uplifting, comedic, and impactful. I give this record a 10/10. Be sure to check out Murs and pick up this album up on iTunes.