“You gotta change too.” These are the words that find themselves at the forefront of Kanye West’s cohort Allan Kingdom’s, Northern Lights project, even before the ‘Intro’. And change he does. This project is loaded with vibey vocalization and production to the point where each track has Kingdom wearing a different hat. From being trapped in his feelings with sentiment to transferring a high level of funky confidence through sound waves show that Kingdom isn’t letting anyone hold him back, least of all himself. It takes both that high level of confidence and an even higher level of originality to make it as an artist in an age where everyone with a computer and a pulse thinks they have a shot.
The originality is what makes Northern Lights, perhaps the most exciting and promising release of 2016 so far. Simply put, very few artists are as hard as Kingdom to pinpoint. Song after song I found myself wondering where he would tether ideas together and how they would sound. In the end, he really didn’t; and it didn’t matter. His vocals and delivery style are likely unlike any other artist you’ve listened too. His style is well realized here by his collaborators who are lending a hand all over this project. Executively produced by Plain Pat and featuring the creative minds of Jared Evan and long-time hometown collaborator, Ryan Olsen.
Heavy synth elements travel a path established by artists like Kid Cudi and Future yet the rest of the album is drowning in classic and experimental elements that draw influence from Chance The Rapper and aspects of Kanye West’s entire catalog. The weightlessness of distant piano keys is introduced to trappy hi-hats and chest collapsing bass all combine to amazing effect on ‘Fables’. He transitions from heartfelt to aggressive when he hits listeners with bars about the oppression of originality placed on artists in ‘Monkey See’.
Kingdom uses poetic rhetoric to keep his thoughts in the form of meaningful sentences that consistently vary in cadence and flow, making each song its own. Tracks like ‘Monkey See’ and ‘Interruption’ hit a rhythm that chops like an onion on Top Chef while songs like the title track and ‘Disconnect’ skip smoothly as though his words are a stone being cast over a calm lake. Those metaphors I just used help show how hard it is to predict Kingdom’s versatility and it is just that, that gives me hope for where he can take his sound.
His autotuned croons of love on ‘I Feel Ya’ take a backseat to his more forward and mobile depictions of life at the moment. But, there is no doubting the talent and fearlessness that is contained within the man behind this project. Some may argue that his lane-switching from style to style screams a longing for finding himself but I would argue that this project shows a Kingdom who has almost fully come into his own. Rather than uncertainty, his experiment alludes to a confidence and comfort that is entirely audible in the 13 tracks contained within the most interesting project of the year so far.
Today marked the birthday of Grammy nominated rapper Allan Kingdom and the release of his new project, Northern Lights. And the Minnesota native couldn’t have celebrated his day of birth in any better way as the new tape is his first major solo project in years, as well as his first since his 2014 self-titled efforts with his group, thestand4rd. Top to bottom, thestand4rd is one of the most talented emerging collectives in rap music today and Kingdom may be the most talented of the group.
From working with Kanye West (on ‘All Day’) to some of our local favorites like WebsterX, and of course his work with thestand4rd, the rapper/producer definitely knows who to work with and his exciting new project is no exception, as it has features from D.R.A.M. and Gloss Gang and executive production from Plain Pat, known best for his work with Kanye West and Kid Cudi.
Any moment now thestand4rd’s Allan Kingdom is releasing his new project Northern Lights. And just hours before the release of the Minnesota rapper’s project, Kingdom has shared the tracklist and back cover art with fans, making us only more excited for the release. With executive production from Kingdom himself, as well as the legendary Plain Pat and Jonathan Kaslow, the project is sure to be a great one. Northern Lights will also have features from D.R.A.M., Gloss Gang, Chronixx and Jared Evan. Kingdom is coming off his first Grammy nominations, for his work on Kanye West’s ‘All Day’, so 2016 is sure to be a great year for the young rapper/producer.
Peep the tracklist and back cover art for Kingdom’s new project below.
Milwaukee’s own, rapper WebsterX, is having a hell of a year. After the success of the visuals for his ‘doomsday’ record (WebsterX’s big introduction to many), the face of Milwaukee’s New Age Narcissism collective has knocked out big festival performances at Summer Set and Summerfest, opened for artists like Lupe Fiasco and Earl Sweatshirt, received a huge nomination at the Milwaukee Film Festival, and now to follow his latest single ‘Lately’, WebsterX has recruited a big feature for his new track ‘Kinfolk’, with thestand4rd’s Allan Kingdom. The record is produced by Chicago producer BoatHouse and is WebsterX’s biggest collaboration yet, teaming up with the Kanye West affiliated rapper.
Here at The Early Registration we like to pride ourselves on our music knowledge. To stay polished on our musical expertise, our new feature is a little game of musical “6 Degrees”. For those who are unfamiliar, six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone in the world is connected by six or fewer steps, so we are now taking the liberty of connecting musicians whom you would never think could be connected, in exactly six steps. This week our 6˚ piece is dedicated to Kanye West’s new banger ‘All Day‘ and the vast team of nearly 20 artists and writers behind the track, which include Kendrick Lamar, French Montana, Vic Mensa and more. To keep things interesting we challenged ourself to connect one of its more random co-writers, rapper French Montana, to Allan Kingdom, the young Minnesota rapper featured on the track. The twist is can we do this using only other writers/artists credited on ‘All Day’? Find out below!
After debuting the highly anticipated song live for the first time at the Brit Awards, and a number of fake leaks surfacing on the internet, we now have a more proper version of Kanye West’s new So Help Me God single ‘All Day’. ‘All Day’ has been worked on for a number of months by the likes of Kanye West, Q-Tip, Mike Dean, Vic Mensa, Theophilus London and more. And it definitely sounds like all the work paid off. While it was originally scheduled to be the first single from Kanye’s forthcoming studio album, fans can listen to the track now (and download it here on iTunes), which features Paul McCartney, Theophilus London and Allan Kingdom.
Daily, the internet means more and more to finding new music and supporting it. Because of the internet, the idea of an artist being regional and having to sound like where they come from is becoming smaller. Now, listeners can enjoy music from all over the country and compare to find out who the best from each area is. Let’s see who the best new artists of America really are…