KING “We Are KING” album review (Show Friday!)
Not many can already be considered trendsetters on their debut. Very few artists have already seeped through this decade as influential and iconic, and you could say Kendrick Lamar would be one of those artists. However, if you dig back to Section.80, where the hype became real for Kendrick Lamar, you find a rose that grows from that foundation. Many are familiar with the interlude “Chapter Six,” but the foundation for that came from was a song called “Hey,” which originally was on KING’s debut EP. While their EP garnered much acclaim, even an endorsement from Prince, their debut album, We Are KING, is filled with woozy, wonderful, and whimsical synths and vocals bring back the electrical fueled R&B 80s into a modern day context that many will enjoy.
After setting things off properly with the introductory cut “The Right One,” it then effortlessly moves to “The Greatest,” an ode to the champion of the world Muhammad Ali, KING is able to bring many aesthetics to the table that make R&B/Soul sound fresh, new, and appetizing, and having an 8-bit music video as the opening salvo goes easy on the eyes, too. “Mister Chameleon” manages to bring a story of trivial love and communication to a fever pitch by painting outside of the lines subtly, never being too direct, unless you are playing the chameleon yourself in the game of love, while “Native Land” harkens back lyrically as a narrative similar to D’Angelo’s “Africa,” off “Voodoo,” however, KING is seeking more a proverbial place to call home or a place to feel that sense of zen and amazement, and it’s done so wonderfully.
Three cuts from their previous EP find their way onto We Are KING, and they are all extended versions. Songs like “Hey,” which served as the foundation for Kendrick Lamar’s “Chapter Six,” and the moment that gained notoriety for KING “The Story” finds its way onto the album too, and serves as a perfect bookend to seamlessly integrate into “Native Land,” and the ode to the perfect partner “Supernatural” also ends up here too. It’s very interesting how these three songs manage to help KING craft the rest of the album, and make it a sonically sound and cohesive structure that ebbs and flows with relative ease for the listener. There’s many reasons why people are celebrating KING’s debut, and We Are KING is a debut that will hopefully continue to be on the ears of many for the coming months.
KING will be performing live on Friday, February 12th at Icehouse. Lady Midnight & Afrokeys will be opening the show. Tickets are $20, and can be purchased here: http://bpt.me/2479118. This is a 21+ event.
— Ali, @egyptoknuckles