featured REVIEW

Blueprint King No Crown Weightless Recordings • 2015

With ‘Adventures In Counter Culture’, Blueprint rapped and produced himself an eternal spot into our attention span. On his fourth album ‘King No Crown’, the Ohio artist impresses with heart-felt stories, moving motivation and a firm focus. Blueprint’s a sniper. With words as munition. Slowly but effectively, his verses float over stumbling, hypnotizing kicks. Print recites and inspires.

Before you know it, you get stuck in his lyrics. The title track for example: a slow but electrifying beat pushes lyrics packed with emotions slightly forward, into sheer catharsis. In a truly magnificent first couplet, Blueprint fillets the gloomy side effects of human striving. ‘Subject indigenous to genocide and slaughter, I’m living in a village named in that man’s honour, Southside Columbus’.

Blueprint juggles with existential themes as if he was Sartre or Camus. ‘Never more sure is where I’m supposed to be. I’m the youngest out of four. Momma could have stopped at three’.

Blueprint is a thinker. That, he exploits to refute clichés. ‘I’m not a thug, I’m a black intellectual. Some people only hear me if I’m violent or sexual.’ In times of police brutality, he tickles black consciousness. With songs like ‘Black Intellectual’, ‘They Like Power’ and ‘My Generation’, he inspires. ‘Be the leaders, we were destined to be’.

‘King No Crown’ is crafted during a difficult period in the rapper’s life. Brother sick, father sick, friend Eyedea who passed away. It resulted into very personal testimonials such as ‘Live For Today’ and ‘Great Eyedeas Never Die’. Hence the dark undertone of this record: gloomy synths and moaning basslines haunt throughout the album.

But still: ‘King No Crown’ is a twilight of shine and darkness. There’s also hope: ‘Maybe My Generation’ with long-time collaborator Illogic urges for a better future. ‘Persevere’ pats all who has a difficult time on the back: ‘recognize that the reason that you’re here, is only cause you figured out a way to persevere’.

This record grabs one by the throat. It moves with personal stories. It tickles your inner Luther King with lucid observations. Blueprint, again, manages to push the bar a bit higher.

POSTED ON 08|24|2015 by cpf

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