NPR.com | Songs We Love: King Los, ‘God Money War’

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King Los’ long-awaited major-label debut, God Money War, dropped on June 23 while our collective attention was — and is — turned to American terrorists, burning churches, music streaming services, and much more widely hyped album releases from other hip-hop artists. From a publicity standpoint, it’s an inopportune time to release an album, but in a way it’s perfect timing for a record like Los’ debut.

“Dear Mr. President, if you’re hesitant / Your presence is requested in the midst of negligence / To fix your residence, it’s a message in our restlessness,” Los implores over Da Internz’ clever flip of Toro Y Moi’s “Grown Up Calls.” He considers the tumultuous world around him, his inner circle of friends and family, and his own motivations.

King Los’ guiding principle is his faith: “God, money, war / If heaven free, what we kill for money for? / They say when it rains it pours / But it rain on the poor / So you ain’t really rich if what’s rich ain’t in your core / Real s***, n****.” As with Kendrick Lamar, King Los’ religious beliefs provide a consistent theme in his music, and yet — in part due to his reputation for his technical ability — he’s been able to skirt the reductive label of “gospel rapper.” Yes, King Los runs the risk of getting lost in the shuffle of the 24-hour news cycle. But that doesn’t make his music and the statements he makes any less timely.

 

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