There is a lot of debate on how the music has changed in the last decade or so. On one hand, the artist has gained more control and can freely release music at a faster rate with less regulation from major labels. Of course one major drawback to that lack of label involvement has been a question of quality control. Front-to-back, quality-filled albums with zero filler are a rarity these days. That’s where “The Rise of King Mushu” comes in. King Mushu’s full length album sets a new bar for underground rappers in terms of quality and content. He shows us he has exceptional flow and a gift for conveying emotion through personal experience.
Each subsequent track on “The Rise of King Mushu” ups the intensity even more, and shows growth in almost every sense of the word. King Mushu’s rapping gets even better, the singing sounds stronger, the songs themselves are more memorable, the production quality is top notch, and by the end of it all, there isn’t a weak track to be found here.
“The Rise of King Mushu” has raised the quality bar for independent Hip Hop that will be hard to match. You can tell that every moment on this album was thought about carefully and every decision was made intentionally.
I could name off standout tracks but naming every song on the album would seem almost pointless. This album is brilliant. By far the best I’ve heard in this first quarter of the year. From the moment the recording opens with the impactful trinity of “Rokm Intro”, “The Rise of King Mushu”, and “Thank You”, King Mushu has a way of making you connect emotionally.
Listening to his new music is a visceral process. Of the different emotions we can feel as humans, he’s utterly relentless in making you identify with them all. His bars are tight, but also extremely relevant. Not least worthy of mention, are brilliant supporting features – namely CharliSoSauce, Eboni, Fox, Marlo and Rochelle Denise.
In between the skits, you’ll be blown away by the mellifluous drive of “Smoke With Me King Mushu”, the soulful swing of “Look At Me” and “Materialistic”, as well as the highly chilled thump of “50 Shades of Eboni”. This is a rap album with a twist.
Most rappers curse so much you wouldn’t want to listen to them for five seconds let alone a whole album. King Mushu is different. His lyrics are thought-provoking and filled with words with meaning not just words of filth to shock you into submission.
You get an intense syllable-heavy style of rap that has no problem with sharing powerful messages. King Mushu’s sound can sometimes be bombastic, striking a chord with its sheer potency. This happens with “Mi Casa” and the album closer, “#TeamYakura”, on which the energy levels are wound up tight.
All throughout this album, King Mushu hits his stride with an effort as lyrically powerful and honest as ever – showing that the hard work on both himself and his craft is paying dividends.
King Mushu breathes, and believes the transformative and therapeutic power of music. He is the founder of UnderGround Paradise Records, a small label made up of extremely aware individuals who are actively involved in their community, facing issues like drugs, homelessness and injustices.
“The idea,” say King Mushu, “is to give back to the community as much as possible. We all have a mission in life, understand yours.” At a time when other artists settle for less, King Mushu displays a commendable self-awareness that is expected from someone whose music runs parallel to their personal endeavors and experiences in life.
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