King Just Biography
In 1994 King Just was having trouble getting his shit heard, so he put it out himself on Black Fist Records. This single was "Warrior's Drum," and the man with "one life to lose" made his first mark on the hip-hop map. It was a large underground success and this brother-from-Shaolin-but-not-a-Wu-Tang-artist clearly had his feet on the ground.
Finally, after quite a wait, the full LP has dropped. If you've heard "Warrior's Drum," you'll notice that this LP is very much tied into the first single, featuring cuts with titles clipped from the "Warrior's Drum" lyrics: "Can I Get Some," "Hassan Chop," and "Boom Bow!" The production on this album (from Easy Mo Bee, E-Swift, and RNS from Wu-Tang) is solid. Basic, straightforward drums and the eerie underground ghetto-flavor samples set the mood: this is a true hip-hop album.
An interesting piece of this release is the remix of "Warrior's Drum" which makes great use of the "Shaolin, Black Fist, they knew the time / and Just came back with that old funky rhyme" vocal clip. The beat is somewhat corny, but as a whole it works pretty well, though it takes a couple listens to get past the "what the fuck?" stage.
Lyrically, King Just ranks up there among the better artists of the year. His off-and-on sing-songy delivery works very well, and though his metaphors aren't the most amazing I've ever heard (he used a "David Banner/Hulk" analogy twice and he's far from the first to use it -- I can think of at least three others), but the kid comes off nonetheless. As far as guest rappers go, it's pretty much run-of-the-mill.
So, to summarize, I gotta' give this one the nod. It's straight-forward hip-hop the way we haven't heard it in a while. "Now ain't that some shit, kid?"
Originally appeared in HardC.O.R.E. with a 4/6 rating.
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