Love$ick is a track with a life of its own. The original incantation of the Mura Masa samba’d feel good underground triumph was originally released as “Lovesick Fuck” on his 2015 debut album Someday Somewhere, which pretty much singlehandededly crowned as a prince of the international production scene. Originally from the channel islands, but now fully submerged in the sights and sounds of London, he is indeed only 20.
Just over a month ago, from across the pond the super-hot A$AP Rocky blessed the track was some wonderful lyrics, opening a but a very bouncy, soulful element to the track. Then, about a week back a video was released to go with it, which boosted its already steady success in the mainstream and underground scene. On Love$ick, Mura Masa and Rocky (or Prettyflackojodye as he’s known to his best of friends/fans) have across seas and two markedly different careers to produce a distinctly exotic but still warmly familiar hit for both of them. Have a dive in yourself, before we dive and take a few angles on this beauty:
Love$ick is a track that yearns from its depths
The whole chorus, which stunningly haunted the original track and breaks into further shimmering beauty in this incarnation, is a trifling begging for love to the point of sexual acceptance with no answer. Just listening to it, framed by A$AP’s emotionally chameleon-like raps, seduces the listener into falling in love and catch the sickness themselves.
We open with the yearning, nostalgically recorded sentiment “Please man, pretty please with a cherry on top, can you please?” by Rocky building anticipation for the theme of the track and his involvement, kicking of the track and its emotion beautifully.
A$AP Rocky adds more to this emotional depth by adopting different voices to construct a tapestry of romance and intense feeling. The first verse contains a voice struggling with the cold, but determined to warm himself with any kind of drug, friendship or pastime they can find – striking a chord with millions who have recently grown up, especially in the inner-city, and especially when watched with the video, which will fully sink out teeth into later.
The second verse then opens with an even more honest and forceful voice.
Okay she giving me love / But it fuck my energy up / Every time it finna be summer, only got the memories of us.
We’re pushed into true intimate interaction with the character’s present in the song, video, and A$AP’s verses.
But then Rocky completely flips things, adopting a far more aggressive, unconsciously colder tone:
Yeah, he wanna lay the hands on me / But he should see the way she dance on me / Yeah, wishing I ain't had no pants on me.
Because of its infectious the delivery and composition, these last utterances make us vicarious with the excitement of this more aggressive voice. It’s the lines most people remember. It draws an end to a spectrum of emotions and lovesickness that are musically brilliant and emotionally impacting, perhaps even devastating to the listener. That, in my opinion at least, is why it bangs so hard.
All this beauty is brought out in the video
Take a peep before watching. You’ll see for yourself what I’m talking about.
This video is all about life creating authentic art in itself. Poetry that’s often useful for the artist and a way that only makes even more fantastic to the audience. The kids are seen smoking weed regularly, even lighting a firework at the end of the video, but they are never demonised, they are completely humanised all the time. They are not perfect people, but real people, swimming through a variety of emotions and relationships trying to have a good time.
This is done by how nearly every shot is a portrait, framing people as real humans, or often as a set of three friends. The very talented director, Yoni Lappin, did this to a maybe even greater degree in his first video “What If I Go”, where frames are shaken and frozen like instragram pictures, here he lets the live more, but the effect is still marvellously pungent. Even objects are shot like portraits. The only shots without people in them are of the room of the main boy and his girlfriend’s room before we see them in bed. The characters look directly into the camera in many of these portrait shots. They connect with us. A lot of these portraits are really quick as well, they’re like snapshots of life. As the viewers we’re friends with the characters.
This mellifluous vibe is reflected in brilliance of production on the track from the barely adult Mura Masa throughout. The dominant riff utilises a tropical sound that melts wonderfully into the steel pans surrounding it and has a simple beauty and complex use of cadence in its actual progression. This is paired with use of sampling and envelopes on lyrics and melody lines that somehow bring an urban breath of hubba bubba loveliness as well. In short, the video and production are integral to an experience exotic vibrance in the everyday, which in turn is integral to its overt note and theme, broke down above.
And it’s all drenched in the beauty of London Town, for universal appeal
Though he’s originally from the Channel Islands, all of Mura Masa’s videos and art, especislly this, is submerged in very real London. This is brought in by the phone videos at the beginning and the end, nostalgically personal jusy like the way Rocky is recorded at the start. The cover art has someone’s arm reaching over someone’s face with a wristband from Visions on, an underground club in Dalston that only lets like 40 people in each night. There’s not much more to say really, this is a vivid, lovesick dream of a track – go out and experience it for yourself.