Baltimore’s own, King Los, recently dropped his prelude album, God Money War and is currently on a promotional tour. One of his first show dates was right here in Baltimore city.
After a casual interview with the King, watching him perform and simply observing his every move during the event, taking notice to how he engaged those around him, I finally understood where he is now. I finally understood why he is king.
There are three reasons why I think, King Los is the best artist out of Baltimore right now.
A Rhythmical Raconteur of Our Stories
“God told me that this movie will write it’s self, spread love, be wise and let foolery fight it’s self.” – King Los, God, Money, War.
King Los articulates the harsh reality of living in the city’s hoods through impeccable storytelling. God, Money, War opens up with “War” featuring Marsha Ambrosius.
In War, King Los delivers two stimulating verses and a hook that expose a variety of socially conscience issues. But, what separates his form of art from others like it is that it’s a message that speaks from the young, black and hood Baltimore city experience.
King Los performed the song during his 4th of July concert at Charm City Skate Park in downtown Baltimore. With both hands on the mic and its stand, he passionately wanted his audience to internalize the lyrics.
“I didn’t make God, Money, War, the [mixtape], I didn’t make it for myself…it’s really not about me. Its loosely based on things I see and understand really,” King Los said in a room full of Baltimoreans of all ages. “It’s about other people who don’t have the understanding…ya’ll just need these words.”
The song pulls us in to the current mindset of a man internally conflicting with two ideas about his life — first, regardless of what’s right or wrong, he must survive any way that he can, out of his own circumstance and secondly, this can’t be all that God has for him.
“…Got the devil with a gun against my brain like choose a side, cause it’s a war going on…” – King Los, God, Money, War.
The album is broken into three facets, god, money and war. Songs such as War, Ghetto Boy, God Money War, and Lil Black Boy, are all speaking to the experiences and internal conflict of many young men, in fact, many young men in Baltimore.
“I got that Baltimore in me yeah that’s my problem… You got me f**ked up, I’m from the bottom.” – King Los, God, Money,War.
But to find refuge from the typical, angry, non-tolerant mindset, King Los paints a picture of how one can push forward to escape circumstance, but the key is to transform the very mindset that chains you to the hood. Let in something higher than ones self. Let in love. Let in God.
“I fear people are not having something beyond a human being to look to, because human beings will almost always fail you…we’re not constructed in that way — to not fail,” King Los said as he explains his emphasis on spirituality and why God is a prominent topic of his project.
In Glory to the Lord, he describes how someone who is from the bottom, might celebrate reaching the top. It’s hood culture in a positive light. Relators have something to hope for, as not all hood stories end badly. Which brings us to the second reason.
A Perfect Example of Where True Determination Will Lead You
“Tell me do you trust yourself, like you need nobody else. Sometimes I don’t trust myself…Trust your confidence.” –Chrishan The Prince, God Money War
King Los has been around for a few years. The music industry isn’t new to him, however; there has been some ups and downs in his career since he was first signed with Bad Boy Records back in 2005.
After delivering a fire flame freestyle for Puffy, King Los inked a deal with Bad Boy records in conjunction with Bloc Incorporated. But when legal issues started to arise around Los’s imprint, the deal fell through. King Los didn’t loose hope. He returned to the lab and continued to release music independently.
From 2008 to 2011, King Los dropped seven mixtapes to continue his buzz. But, although his mixtapes proved his raw talent and lyrical skill, critics questioned King Los’s ability to really make radio records, hit records.
“Its like playing baseball. You’re on a team but you’re not a star until you hit a home run. When you don’t have any home runs, you just sitting,” Larry Caudle, the Road Manager for King Los said.
In 2011, Los dropped “Crown Ain’t Safe” which got critical acclaim. Shortly after, Diddy announced to MTV that his latest signee was King Los. But, surprisingly, a year later, Los announced to XXL that he was again leaving Bad Boy and Interscope, but still on good terms.
King Los made a boss decision regarding his own career, not leaving it up to the command of labels and where they wanted to devote the resources. Today, King Los and After Platinum is signed with 88 Classics/ RCA, a label which Los describes as an incredible home for them to reach the next level.
Through all of the ups and downs, Los continued to make music and make a brand for himself. He stepped outside of the 8×10 and built up trust in his own confidence. His determination and growth is what helped him to achieve a good balance in his career.
“That uphill battle with impeccable views, Now delivering a new multi-dimensional you, uh.” – Lola Monroe, God Money War
King Los’s determination exudes in everything that he has done and throughout God Money War. Like many from Baltimore city, he understands how difficult it is to see pass your circumstance, but during an interview with Hiphopcleopatra.com and WPB-TV, King Los weighed in on what he felt was the most important message to send to Baltimore’s youth.
“Never stop, never stop, because to be honest with you, we’re a long time from some real change,” King Los said. “Make it through that…it’s up to you…The hood not going to help nobody, it builds us, it makes us strong, it gives us our foundation, but you got to take that foundation and move forward with that…”
An Undeniable Lyrical Genius with a Business Mindset
King Los possesses a vast vocabulary that serves as lethal bullets for the Shooter rapper. He has found a way to create commercial-worthy music with embedded messages, powerful messages at that.
Collaborating with Da Internz was a strategic move that placed King Los in the perfect position to show the industry what he is really made of. He is undeniably a lyrical genius, but now, he is business savvy too. Throughout his uphill battles, King Los has internalized the business and learned from mentors such as Executive Producer, Diddy. He told BET that he has grown musically with the varying resources he has now and a better understanding of how to record.
King Los released his latest LP, “God Money War” in late June. The project is produced heavily with Da Internz, the Chicago duo known for making hits. It peaked on the Billboard Rap charts as the 4th in the country and sold seven thousand copies during the first week. In my opinion, it is the project that will prove to the world, a former battle MC can successfully transition to mainstream.
“He’s more than a rapper, he’s an artist,” Caudle, explained.