Carlos Coleman, a Maryland local going by the stage name of King Los is no stranger to the rap scene. At the age of 16 he turned to poetry and literature to help ease the pain of losing his father and he developed a love for lyricism that he used to his advantage when he finally started rapping 2 years later. Now at the age of 35 King Los’ debut studio album has finally arrived.
God, Money, War is a change from Los’ usual mix-tape format. After decades in the game, and multiple mix tape releases it seems like he has decided to adopt a more structured approach. Being under Sean Combs guidance since 2005 has definitely had an effect on Los’ work as you can feel the radio friendly aspects to some of the tracks pushing through the emotional stories that are layered over the top. Combs’ penchant for mainstream is something that people might not like, but luckily it only seem prevalent on a few of the tracks.
Guest appearances from R. Kelly, Ty Dolla Sign, Khalil, P. Diddy himself plus many more make for quite a confusing affair, the album seems to span across several styles – arguably too many, potentially with the intention of covering all bases. Soulful numbers such as Lil Black Boy are countered by radio friendly ballads like Glory to the Lord with lyrics and ideas that are worlds apart. Los’ lyrical prowess and versatility may be his strong suit, but i feel that too much variety on a debut studio album may be daunting for the newer listeners.
Taking the songs as they are and omitting the expectation of the usual story and progression that you might experience from another artist of similar prowess, there is little negative to be said about God, Money, War. Production is solid throughout, although not exactly groundbreaking, and the appearing guests all contribute with strong performances.
Although we’ve been made to wait a very long time for King Los’ debut studio album, the hype and buzz that his mixtape releases generated just didn’t seem to be there for the latest release. Hopefully for his next release he will be able to recapture some of the stronger points of God, Money, War and leave the rest in 2015.