PawPaw Rod Delivers Honeyed Words of Affirmation in “Message (Better Days)”


Photo: Emma Marie Jenkinson

Do you ever feel like life is just one big hump day? Well, then I have just the cure for what ails you. In his latest single, “Message (Better Days),” PawPaw Rod gently pushes us through the hump days that litter life.

“Message (Better Days)” arrives as the first taste of new music from PawPaw Rod since the release of his debut EP, A PawPaw Rod EP, last year, which included the breakout single “HIT EM WHERE IT HURTS.” In his latest effort, the Hawaii-born, Oklahoma-raised rapper and singer saunters through a vintage soundscape furnished by words of affirmation. 

Speaking on the initial inspiration for the track, PawPaw Rod, shared via an Instagram post, “I started writing ‘Better Days’ on a snowy night in my hotel room in Manhattan. I couldn’t sleep because I was still filled with adrenaline from walking and performing at @UllaJohnson fashion show a few days prior, all while romanticizing just being able to take a bite out of The Big Apple under such beautiful circumstances. A TV show from the 70s called Columbo was on mute in the background and a beautiful human I admired dearly just told me she was proud of me. In that moment I started laughing and said to myself ‘Music has really taken you places, I’m so glad I started, it’s worth it.’ I thought about all the times I felt discouraged, delusional for having the audacity to move across the country with no concrete plan in the name of Chasing a Dream.

He continues, “I thought about the times where I was in my own head; nervous to even put myself out in the world as an artist, back when it was just a few words jotted in a moleskin, mumbles on a voice note, or writing a self declaration and having your family sign it as witnesses lol. If you overthink, are hard on yourself sometimes and have to remind yourself to be present, I feel you baby, you’re just like me.”

The idyllic track, punctuated by ‘70s-evoking instrumentation and shimmers of understated production, evokes all the easygoing soul of yesteryear while looking confidently toward tomorrow. “Can’t get help if you don’t even start / Really no rules to it all / Learnin’ as we go,” sings PawPaw Rod in a velvety, self-assured register. The effect is a nostalgic serenade that reminds you to walk with a slight swagger in your step and your head held high. 

Listen to “Message (Better Days)” below:

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