Step aside Kendrick Lamar; there’s a new king in town. Following in the footsteps of the legendary Notorious B.I.G., Baltimore rapper Los was signed to Bad Boy Records by P Diddy—or Puff Daddy, or Diddy, or whatever the hell he calls himself today. However, Los’ career didn’t exactly pan out the way it did for Biggie. He was dropped from Bad Boy after three years, before he ever had the chance to release an album (listen closely to his song Fall For Your Type if you want your mind blown). Rather than succumb to misery and defeat, Los set out to pursue his goals and hone his craft. He released a slew of mixtapes, which flaunted his clever wordplay and undeniable talent. Los gained popularity and momentum as an underground MC, eventually finding himself back under the roof of Bad Boy Records. It was then that Los crowned himself with a new moniker: King Los. But as we’ve learned from True Detective’s Rust Coehle, time is a flat circle, and history has a strange way of repeating itself. Los and Diddy suffered another break-up—but not before he released this incredible work of art: Zero Gravity II. It’s not an album but a mixtape; a sequel (in case you didn’t pick up on it) to his 2010 work.
Frankly, this is one of the greatest mixtapes I’ve ever heard and gives Lil Wayne, the undisputable mixtape king, a run for his money (check out Da Drought 3, No Ceilings, or Sorry 4 the Wait if you don’t agree). Los’ skills on the mic prove why he’s a king worthy of your loyalty. His lyricism is genius and leaves the listener awestruck—but his flow can also be so quick and seamless that it’s easy to miss his witty metaphors. This mixtape is so good that it’s almost unfair to summarize it in a few brief paragraphs. Some tracks will go on repeat the second you hear them, such as Woke Up Like This and Everybody Ain’t Kings, which brilliantly samples the classic disco song Turn the Beat Around.
One of the best tracks on the album is the Control Remix, where Los takes the Big Sean song and ruthlessly slaughters the beat. When Control was first released, everyone went insane over Kendrick Lamar’s verse, where he called out all of the big names in rap. Some MCs replied with a vicious remix. Others just brushed it off and thought themselves too high and mighty to respond (I’m looking at you, Drake). But it was Los who did it best. He named everyone that Kendrick called out and gave each of them props, essentially taking Lamar’s verse and flipping it on its head. Even Kendrick said that Los’ Control remix was his favorite–and Los made sure to include that admittance in the track.
The mixtape ends with a bang titled Bar Mitzvah, which demonstrates some of the best rap lyrics I’ve heard in a while. Just checkout the wordplay here: “It’s only one God, God bless liars’ jaws/N****s hard press, like they ain’t know the mess I have caused.” Mess I have=Messiah. In other words, he’s claiming to be the god of rap—a self-proclaimed title that seems to be thrown around frequently these days. However, after listening to Zero Gravity II, it’s hard to argue King Los’ declaration.
Recommended songs: Everybody Ain’t Kings, Bar Mitzvah, Control Remix, Woke Up Like This, Play too Rough
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