GRADE :: A
IN A WORD OR TWO :: dense, regal, fully realized, replayable
THE GOOD :: This project echoes Blazing Arrow by Blackalicious… very well produced by Ruler Why. The intro/outro presentation backs up the rhymes and performance of King ART very well. The whole album comes off as a night of epic tales presented to the villagers in whatever gathering place you can vision (bar, center of town, etc.)… very much of a returning hero vibe throughout the listen. The wordplay is thick on here as well… multiple listens are required of the listener. A good cross section of Austin MCs guest on this album, and the spacing of their appearances is perfect.
THE BAD :: The bad, in this case, is that old demon in the corner called convention. The verse-chorus-verse format fits well for this project, but I am hoping that King ART lets his lyrical animals break free next go round. I’m talking songs that are one long verse… making each verse a different length of bars… playing around with the format of the song. Let it be known, however, that the format does work well on The Divine Knight.
THE UGLY :: The ugly, in this case, will be the listener, because Ruler Why provides screwface material all throughout this album. Songs like ‘Who Am I?’, ‘Lost Ways’, ‘French Joint’ and ‘Don’t Know Why’ are qualified bangers. Definitely giving folks neck cramps from head nods on this one.
THE FINAL WORD :: King ART and Ruler Why took two years to bring this album to completion, and it shows. The beats are very coherent, and make sense as a whole. Lyrically, there is wonderful wordplay throughout… rhyme patterns shift within verses. Little gems of knowledge (numerology, monarch programs, etc.) are sprinkled throughout the album. The pacing on the album is perfect. Confidence shines from beginning to end. Definitely worth your time, and worth telling others about. See King ART live whenever you can, and keep your eyes out for Ruler Why productions, because he stays busy.