Review: King Los' "Becoming King"

Review: King Los' "Becoming King"

After resigning with Diddy and Bad Boy, Los is finally ready to take his turn in the spotlight and reclaim the crown with his latest offering.

Since 1993, Sean “Diddy” Combs has always kept his finger on the pulse of trends in hip-hop music.  When he founded Bad Boy, he assembled a roster that included one of the greatest rappers of all time. Never one to rest on his laurels, Diddy continued to reinvent his label to stay current with the time. In the past year or two, the music mogul has placed Bad Boy at the forefront of hip-hop once again by signing 2012's break-out rapper French Montana and wild card Machine Gun Kelly to join the ranks of Red Café and Cassie.

One of the most promising artists on Diddy’s roster is King Los but this isn’t the Baltimore native’s first go round on Bad Boy. Los was signed to the label back in 2005 but due to “non-musical” reasons, the two parted amicably. Fast-forward seven years later and a steady flow of solid mixtape after mixtape , Diddy put in a call to the ever-grinding Los and resigned him.

This time around we see Los as a man who’s learned from his trials and tribulations, determined to grow from every experience in preparation for the throne. Patiently waiting for his turn to shine, Los now steps into the limelight with his latest offering, Becoming King. If it seems like he’s crowning himself as the chosen one, he is and he wastes no time saying as much, explaining why on the opening song which is also the title track.

Los wastes no time picking up from where he left off with his last mixtape, The Crown Ain’t Safe. In song after song, Los makes his claim for the throne. Always one to put out quality music, he enlists the help from some heavyweights in hip-hop such as Pusha T, Juicy J, Ludacris, Twista and Wiz Khalifa to prove his point on why he just may be the best artist on the Bad Boy roster.

If there’s any doubt that King Los deserves to be mentioned with some of the best rappers in the game, “Dope” squashes all reservations. Joined by Pusha T and Yo Gotti, Los proves his flow is just as deadly, if not more, than that dope cooked raw:

"To celebrate my new haters/ I just bring a new whip out/ End up fuckin your main girl/ Then part this shit at your bitch house/ Paid 100K for my necklace/ They wanna bring 100 Ks to my crib/ Nigga, it’s 100 ways to get got/ Then make you pay 100K for your kid"

Becoming King is a well-rounded body of work that shows Los’ growth as an artist, giving fans a taste of more than the braggadocio rhymes that makes him King Los. “Burn Slow” is hazy, smoked filled song featuring none other than rapper/marijuana aficionado Wiz. Fellow labelmate Cassie provides the silky, smooth hook that swirls around the track like a single stream of smoke from a slow-burning blunt. Boss Diddy appears on the laidback “Disappointed” with Atlanta rapper Ludacris giving a verbal “SMH” to all those out there who haven’t stepped their game up or were caught slipping.

Los takes a leap outside of his comfort zone and takes a walk on the pop side with the surprisingly pleasant “Weak.” Wiz Khalifa and Cassie, making this the second time they’re paired up together on this project, help the track become a definite club banger. Not forgetting the ladies, Los reaches out for the opposite sex in “Doing You Well,” his version of LL Cool J’s “Doin It Well.”

Coming from the brutal streets that were featured in HBO’s critically acclaimed gritty series “The Wire,” Los reminds us that he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth or a crown on his head. Joined by Raheem DeVaughn in “Nightmares of Being Broke,” it’s clear Los is happy to have made it out and credits his background being the source of his drive to succeed.

"Raised on the block where the fiends came for the coca/ So driven you would think my dreams came with a chauffeur/ Riding, tell ‘em I’m stomping through the door/ A Baltimore nigga grinding in constant pursuit of more/ I wish that I was raised with some odds that you could ignore/ Just stay rich at heart or no one will sponsor you through the poor"

Los takes on Biggie Smalls “Sky’s The Limit” which gives Becoming King a classic Bad Boy feel and further proves he's one to watch. R&B singer Fantasia, who’s staging a comeback of her own with her latest album, gives Los a hand in this uptempo track.

Los, who recently welcomed a son with Taylor Gang rapper Lola Monroe, has consistently raised the bar with each mixtape release and Becoming King is no different. At first glance, the title may seem a bit arrogant but this has been years in the making. Producers 1500 or Nothin, Dot Pro, Yung Burg, J. Oliver and Rob Holladay and other help Los create one of his best projects yet. Becoming King could have very well been an album. Los appropriately closes out with “Postcards,” waving goodbye to those that didn’t believe him as he takes his career to the next level.

 Listen to Becoming King and download it below.

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