Love & Rockets, Vol. 1: The Transformation
Label: Murs 316
Ski Beatz's jam-style funk production turned Curren$y and Tabi Bonney into underground rap stars, but Murs is the first established artist he's collaborated with. As a West Coast indie-rap icon with a decade-plus career, Murs brings a different edge, from name-dropping Antoni Gaudi on "International" to, surprisingly, writing about a closeted gay teen on the tragic "Animal Style." Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation features guest verses from underrated New Orleans rapper Dee-1 (on "Dream On"), but the focus is mostly on Murs' plainly told, deceptively simple stories.