In a particularly smokey haze yesterday, a random discovery occurred of Seattle’s King Leez via the manifestation of pre-release loosie “In My Mode.” The single from Supreme Being quickly transferred to my ear drum and replay tendencies took over in fitting form. The amalgamation of old world Jamaican tones with PNW hip-hop of the modern era was a clever juxtaposition that paid attention to the details of practiced vocal delivery – both rapped and sung, pristinely mixed instrumentation, and the all too commonly overlooked art of song craft. Whether serendipitously or not, Leez would then drop the host album the next day, which is today, and those same components are a mainstay throughout upon first listen. In addition to what could be considered the most comprehensive series of bars to lift out of the Emerald City since Raz Simone’s Cognitive Dissonance II, it is also strategically placed features from Kevin Gates, Pusha T and Raz himself that elevate the project just like those types of guest appearances should. Compact at 8 cuts, the recently crowned Artist of the Year by the Tacoma Weekly packs in a myriad of influences and musings with ease. While expected lulls in energy do exist, they evaporate from the prolific and aggressive word smithing on “Acceptance,” all the way through to the gritty and bass heavy anthem “That Ain’t Love.” Maybe most important of all is that Leez lays out his creative potential in multi-faceted moments. Those same moments seemingly lead to fulfillment during particularly well executed thematic crescendos.
Highlights: “Acceptance”, “In My Mode”, “Lookin”, “That Ain’t Love,” plenty of smoker references