Local rapper KingCo’s self-titled LP has room for improvement

After spending time on the gridiron for Seattle’s XFL franchise, former Bellevue Wolverine Reuben Mwehla decided to hang up his cleats and pick up a pen. In his first full-length LP, Mwehla has a style very much influenced by his contemporaries. Performing under the aforementioned title “KingCo,” Mwehla’s style clearly fits into the mold of trap singers like A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, K Camp, and Tory Lanez. 

“See You” kicks off the album and sets a nice tone for what’s to come. The beat was smooth and laidback. KingCo’s voice projected fairly well and the soft, rattling drums sound similar to what you’d find on a DJ Mustard track. We get a love story gone awry on “Toxic.” In the lyrics KingCo describes a fairly volatile relationship he has with a woman. Much of the song’s moments did border on being melodramatic. The storytelling he tried to achieve was undercut by the low-energy crooning on the hook. Moving on to “Victory” we get a beat featuring a sample from DaniLeigh’s “Easy.” Throughout the project we get the usual subject matter talked about by most up and coming rappers. Bragging about the women he’s with, the success he’s gotten, along with ducking obstacles that come his way. 

Every track on this project feels like they bleed into each other. Much of the auto-tuned singing felt monotone at times. Given that this is his first venture in music, it’s apparent he’s still finding his voice. Plus, even though he wears his influences on his sleeves, it’s not to say he didn’t put time in making the project enjoyable. He shows a decent grasp of writing hooks and how to ride a beat in many of the verses he writes. But he rarely ever builds off that and fully fleshes out these songs into something greater. The album finishes off with “Concentrate.”  The chorus gives us an interpolation of the now classic hook from Lil John and Eastside Boyz cut “Get Low.” Like the previous songs, they’re made for social settings like kickbacks and house parties.

KingCo’s solo effort overall felt unimaginative and boring at times. Outside of a couple of moments, most of the album’s material fit very much into the cookie-cutter trap/R&B hybrids we get on the mainstream. Moving forward, it would be interesting to see KingCo experiment with his sound, as well as improve the production value on his beats. The Bellevue rapper has a long way to go, but this current LP is a start.      

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