It’s another year, and another album from my favorite rap group dedicated to the herb that I can’t touch due to legal reasons. Long Live the Kings brings a bit more than it’s past entries, including a welcome addition.
One thing you could pan Kottonmouth Kings for, was that for a few years, their albums really sort of felt the same. There were new songs, new beats, but a lot of the albums, while good listens, were one in the same in feel. This year, it feels like this album got a new leg in life with the addition of The Dirtball. Dirtball’s an artist that has stuck out for several years on the Suburban Noize label for his more drum beat-based style for three solo albums, and scores of appearances on Subnoize Souljaz and other artist guest spots. His voice and style feels like it brings a more solid voice to the album, and appears like it might have inspired the rest of the core Kings to step up their game overall. It’s fun to see his style over the rip-hop tracks KMK are known for, such as “Rampage”.
It’s interesting how Kottonmouth Kings have sought to stay relevant and fresh in such a long career when other underground groups, like Insane Clown Posse have lost their magic years ago (though still do well to bring on a new, younger audience). Whether it be the more topical concepts, broader themes, or what seems to be a regular flow of new artists on the label collaborating across all albums.
Either way, Kottonmouth Kings “Long Live the Kings” <Affiliate link> is a nice refreshing album for KMK fans and a great jumping on point for people curious about them.