• Eddie D

K.W.O.A.T. - King WithOut A Throne EP

K.W.O.A.T. gets introspective and political with his King WithOut A Throne EP.

K.W.O.A.T - King WithOut A Throne EP

K.W.O.A.T. is a rapper from Providence, Rode Island. His debut project King WithOut A Throne EP is a collection of songs that show off different styles and flows over a variety of beats ranging from trap to boom bap with mixed results. What's pretty consistent is K.W.O.A.T. has a lot to say both on an introspective level and a political level.

King WithOut A Throne starts with an intro America Is Burning. On this opening track is a commentary about America via dialog taken from the movie ‘Killing Them Softly’ (starring Brad Pitt). The first time we hear K.W.O.A.T. rap is on the album’s second track John Thompson (Killing Time). What K.W.O.A.T. is actually saying and conveying on this track is compelling stuff. This, as expected with the intro, is a political statement and indictment on America‘s treatment of black men and women.

Feel like starting up my own picket line, ain’t no start-ups starting up when your skin like mines. When your starting blocks start out on the block there’s no finish line. I’m beginning to feel like John Thompson it’s killing time.

In contrast to these words, the trap beat on John Thompson doesn’t inspire much. K.W.O.A.T.‘s flow and delivery doesn’t quite deliver the lyrics as strongly as he could have. This is unfortunate because the message is certainly there.

The next track Baroque switches up the vibe completely. Here we get a mellow boom-bap track with haunting vocals in the background. Lyrically we’re getting an introspective K.W.O.A.T. with a completely different flow and delivery as well. There’s no crazy lyrical wordplay to analyze but overall this is a track that pieces together pretty well.

Black Republican continues The mellow vibes. The production is the most lush so far with a groovy bass-line, and melodic keys. The message here is another political commentary similar to John Thompson. K.W.O.A.T. finds his pocket and groove.

No wonder it’s poor and rich. Food shortages coming up short on mortgages. No eviction moratorium restoring this, they don’t listen they ignoring us, we’re poor as sh*t.

Racks Up is the high energy trap single that sounds like it was made for radio. The song is pretty polished and K.W.O.A.T. sounds at home with his energetic trap flow. The sequencing and placement of this track however is a headscratcher as it dramatically shifts the energy from the previous 2 songs.

The Lost Kingz interlude opens with several news clips reporting the deaths of slain rappers. This is followed by acoustic guitar riffs leading to heavy 808’s and trap drums. Here we get a crooning emotional K.W.O.A.T. who seamlessly transitions into an aggressive flow.

Ain‘t no question, no guessing what’s the lesson, just say adolescents with weapons…

Some of the lyrics here are very hard to make out, which is unfortunate. There’s real substance to what K.W.O.A.T. is saying. He uses this track to describe the culture of gang violence and revenge, and you can feel the emotion in his voice.

On the next track Sun Also Rises K.W.O.A.T. once again gets introspective, this time over a more soulful instrumental. The rapper uses a slow flow here, giving the track plenty of room to breathe, which creates a nice vibe.

Feel like they’re starving me in the pen til I’m lifeless. Feel like I gotta see what I’m meant for, what life is.

The next track Angola leads in with a soft acoustic guitar and builds nicely from there. K.W.O.A.T. is back in his introspective and political bag, in pocket and utilizing a delivery full of emotion to drive home his points. PTSD follows with deep subject matter, however this is another instance where K.W.O.A.T.'s flow and delivery subtract from his message. That message, of Black Americans suffering from PTSD really drives home the lyrical theme of the album. K.W.O.A.T. ends this track with an emotional call for action.

The King WithOut A Throne EP ends with a bonus track which, I personally feel was better off not being included. Fatality Freestyle is a very rough demo recording of K.W.O.A.T. freestyling that doesn't add anything to the EP.

K.W.O.A.T. is a rapper that has a message to offer listeners. He is clearly passionate about sharing this message, and hip hop definitely gives those with a voice a platform. I also believe that K.W.O.A.T. can benefit from some artist development. At times throughout this album the rapper struggles with his flow / cadence and breath control. Lyrically, while he has a lot to say, it's the delivery of those words that matter. He has shown on songs like Baroque, Lost Kingz and Angola that he can put it together, but his inconsistency throughout this project is an issue. Too many different flows and deliveries over various styles of production. Racks Up is a polished single, but one that sounds like a completely different artist. I would like to see K.W.O.A.T. zone in and focus on the next project. Sharpen the sound and delivery to amplify those powerful messages.

Check out the King WithOut A Throne EP on Bandcamp. To be released on all streaming platforms 10/30

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