Album Review: Allan Kingdom’s LINES

Courtesy of Frequency 21, a music publication whom I’ve had the opportunity of writing for over the past few months, here is an example of one of my reviews. See more of my posts here.

Allan Kyariga, widely known by his stage name Allan Kingdom, is a Minnesota based Canadian rapper and record producer who is everyone’s favourite lately. He’s known for his past collaborations with the likes of Kanye West, Spooky Black and more recently, Denzel Curry.

It’s been over a year since Allan Kingdom gave us a full-body of work (‘Northern Lights’) which admittedly didn’t compare to his 2015 album ‘Future Memoirs’ for me but it appears that 2017 is going to be full of surprises for the rapper and fans alike. Kingdom’s latest project, ‘LINES’, graced us on the 7th of April and I was impressed with the new and modern sound that Kingdom managed to create whilst still incorporating his own unique style of music.

‘LINES’ is a 14-track project which finds Allan Kingdom experimenting with a whole supply of notes, melodies and ideas as well as paying tribute to his diverse background in its contents. Kingdom does all of this whilst remaining coherent, enjoyable and uplifting.

From a distance, it is clear to see that Kingdom has focused ‘LINES’ around success. He explores his early career, ambitions and his angst throughout each of the tracks.

‘Don’t Push Me’ witnesses Allan Kingdom explore his first-hand experiences rather than anyone else’s, his surrounding culture or his environment. Kingdom is 23 years old, blatantly still young and only just embarking upon his journey through the music business which will undoubtedly be a struggle. These early-career concepts are considering lyrically with “I am from Canada, I am from Africa, I am from so many states / So many amateurs, nobody pampered us, nobody showed me a plate.”

‘Feeling Magnetic’ is the albums uproar. The track works with countless techniques ad efforts, making it unimaginable for the track to be stamped with a non-exclusive label or trademark. Every effort in this song manages to merge together to please fans and verify that ‘LINES’ isn’t an unambiguous project without individuality. To add, this appears to be done effortlessly as every element of the track consolidates fluently.

‘Fuck My Enemies’ is the 11th track nearing the end of the album. Featuring Kevin Abstract, this track depends on his impressive lyrical stream alongside Kingdoms instrumentation. The message of this track is one of strength and self-empowerment. Although the tracks sound is very light and relaxed, it allows fans to singalong and tells a story of success, despite being brought down and doubted.

What I’ve always found to be the most irresistible about Allan Kingdoms music is his clear-cut and expressive vocals alongside his abilities to make any track sound calm or ferocious with just his voice. Provided Childish Gambino remained to his aggressive style of rap featured in ‘Camp’ then I would say Allan Kingdom is intense competition in the world of distinct and unique rap music.

Like the story of Kingdoms career, ‘LINES’ is progressive and its story develops as the tracks continue playing. The tracks bounce from lively and catchy with ‘Lines’ and ‘Feeling Magnetic’ to calm and halcyon with tracks such as ‘Questions’ and ‘Loners Anthem.’ Similarly, the contrasts are noticeable in Kingdoms voice just as much. From track to track, Kingdom is equipped with the ability to let his voice fluctuate from sacrosanct determination to the most brittle of fragility.

As with any musician who has a desire for success, Kingdom shows this through his music. It is clear to see that with ‘LINES’, Kingdom has had a vision and persecuted it with an astounding amount of victories and little room for any disappointment.


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