From the metropolitan concrete universe of the East Coast to the utopia battlegrounds of the West Coast to the integrated cities boasted by the South, there’s plenty of love spread throughout the Hip-Hop community these days. Two denizens who aren’t strangers to sharing their respective spotlights – Murs and Ski Beatz – take their matters of the heart seriously on their first full length pairing, Love And Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation. Comprised of Murs’ normal unabashed candor and Ski’s kaleidoscope of symphonies that have him sounding like two completely different producers on the album, the duet convincingly make a statement that conventional Hip-Hop won’t be left out to dry anytime soon.
Murs never ceases to entertain with a plain albeit reliable flow and plenty of engaging stories, including tackling the controversial scenario of a questionable relationship on “Animal Style” and the semi-comical “67 Cutlass” where the L.A. native and his partner shoot the sheriff and avoid the deputy. From the chairman of the boards standpoint, Ski Beatz composes his best body of work of 2011, ranging from the adrenaline-injected big band feel of his eponymous record also featuring Locksmith and the soothing “Remember 2 Forget,” an impeccable backdrop for Murs to recall a shady former fling.
The underlying theme of Love is definitely prevalent throughout the LP, however Murs also uses his Ski platform to largely rep for the independent hustlers of the game. On “International,” he scoffs at the major label’s 360° deals while reliving the ink stamped on his passport and “Reach Hire” is a must-hear inspirational narrative for anyone looking to make rap music their primary income.
Solid yet uneventful cuts like the dedication to “Eazy-E” and other West Coast pioneers won’t have Love And Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation heralded as a monumental juncture, but it does open a watchful eye for these two, especially with Vol. 2 on the horizon.
Label: DD172/EMI | Producers: Ski Beatz, Embassy The Hitmaker & Royal P