Among the DMV’s rap corps, D.C. res Kingpen Slim’s flow might skew furthest south of the Mason-Dixon. His drawl is pronounced, his electro-enhanced beats sparse and his lyrics skewing towards grime.
Slim, whose “The Beam Up 2” is set to drop today, is not that introspective dude; his tracks describe the life of an average (balling) young person in D.C. Clubs, cars, getting money, you know the drill. He is confident over the bounce of “Powder 4 the Babies” off his debut “The Beam Up” (download).
You teenie/you eenie/I’m way XL/They are no comparison/They just pale
Seem simple enough? His staccato flow and the polished production turn decent battle raps into more. This is a guy who needs to be working with the Neptunes; the harder the snare snaps the better. It’s not deep stuff, but how can you argue with a head-nodder?
Sampling a line from “Powder 4 the Babies,” on “Clark Kent is the Capital City Kingpen)”‘s “Big Bills” feat Whitefolkz, Slim smokes an airy beat.
I flow like a cyborg/I be on that next sh!t/we don’t let jokers in Guess jeans on the guest list/married to the money/we just kissed/you only got one shot that you just missed
A dash of go-go and some Baltimore Club Music seeps into Kingpen Slim’s production and raps. He is a trailblazer carving out a unique segment of hip-hop that liberally fuses regional styles with stuff from the bottom of the map. The beats are often synthetic, but not that techno poppy junk currently being shoved down our throats.
And because he is so nice on DMV-flavored beats, I can only recommend his songs that incorporate those — beats that are new to me. He doesn’t do songs like Clipse’s “I’m Good” justice on this mixtape and isn’t comfortable over the off-kilter beat. Rappers: If you want us to listen to you, we don’t want you on stuff we already know; at least go through the crates. If listeners are humming someone else’s chorus, they aren’t hearing your lyrics.
Slim is on the new business model: free, original albums on the Internet. As a hip-hop consumer, I can do nothing but applaud him. But I really want to see the balance sheet behind it. The music is good, I just hope Slim is making a living off it.