The phrase “real recognizes real” runs deep in the creation of Crown; the first installment of Chocolate City’s 2018 triple decker offering. While the Record Label’s Head Huncho; MI Abaga lyrically sits this project out to focus on delivering a soundscape of polished and peak hip hop, Loose Kaynon & AQ are given the reins to drive a 10 track cart load of cleverly sultry lyrics assisted by slinky & sonorous features. Starting off on a wrong foot didn’t deter Loose Kaynon & AQ from stepping up to show us that teeming Royalty surpasses every other disadvantage of wearing a Crown.
We are made to succumb to the intoxicating power of a well thought out hip hop/rap project by the compelling soft keys, reverberating bass drums punctuated by cymbals, profound lyricism vocalized by Loose Kaynon, AQ and Debbie Romeo who renders hers mellifluously, sonically laid out in Out Of This World; the first track off the Album.
We’re further drawn into the project by the tentacles of an ominous call that ushers in a loopy narrative of ill wishers in Regret; which voices the both rappers iterating their positions in the hip hop scene. “This is not Tinder I don’t swipe left, you all b****** get the middle finger” they rap. The ‘can’t be shaken’ mood created in this track sets the tone for a looming aura that lasts throughout the Album.
Next is Gang Gang; an aptly titled gritty & menacing cut which plays out spacey synths and thrumming pads that serve as a background to bouncy punchlines alluding a next level, top boy lifestyle. The chorus lyrically delivered in the traditional igbo dialect contributes to the toughness of this piece. Gang Gang is followed by a shady interlude titled Best Rapper Alive.
The 27 seconds interlude ushers in SDC assisted single; Crown. On the planes of soft keys, some sort of xylophonic synth & calculated drums, SDC, Loose Kaynon and AQ offer premium Hip Hop/R&B energy. The eponymously titled track is the first and only romantic route taken in this project.
Loose Kaynon and AQ freestyle along bass lines & bouncy synths in the next track titled No Time. A rhyme heavy track complete with the makings of a funky upbeat bop that will have you moving in no time.
What’s a hip-hop/rap project these days without a trap heavy track? Loose Kaynon and AQ offer their piece of African trap; Off Black which features lent bars from Blaqbonez & is stylized with quick chimes and the usual looped echoing 808s that give off psychedelic vibes.
Both Rappers breeze through the next two tracks with assists from Chi Gurl on Hustlers Prayers; a narrative complete with dynamic flows, ominous chants & classic keys begging God to come through for them as they go on a journey filled with toiling and tough times and Big Daddy Jayy on God Wants Us To Be Too Lit. The timely & welcome interruption of the 808s & loopy synths abundant in this track set the pace for cleverly lusty punchlines. The bass heavy track is a twist that favors a power boosting end to the Album.
If Crown is an indication of a Chocolate City treasure trove of elite hip hop soundscapes complete with dynamic flows, then we’re definitely looking forward to all that’s coming out of the record label this year, more collaborations between straight-to-the-point rappers like Loose Kaynon & AQ & a fresh change in the Nigerian hip hop scene which will see rappers taking cues from the solid work done in Crown.