Thi’sl is the type of artist that only comes around every once in a while. Raw, hardcore and has experienced enough ups and downs in life to really not care whether or not you like him or what he has to say. An individual that is as polarizing and influential as a 2Pac, while still being a figure who has clearly been transformed and refined by the grace of God. Fallen King is as much a story of the old Thi’sl as it is the current young thug on the corner in your local hood. It’s a story that paints a vivid picture of the environment that shaped Thi’sl in his early years, interweaved with the message of redemption and salvation that has become his new reality.
The intro to the album, Broken Crown, kicks off the album nicely coming in with the sound of strings and a mellow symphony. About 25 seconds in, that changes up to a hardcore trap beat which sets the pace for the rest of the album. Next up is the lead single, King Without A Crown with a guest appearance by Corey Paul of the Frontline Movement. I have to say this is my favorite track on the album. The beat, hook and everything just flows really well on this joint. King Without a Crown really tells the story of the young fallen mindset that many young males in the street subscribe to.
The next track, produced by Laquan Green, Chicago – Detroit is the track that made me buy the album. I’m still trying to decide if this is or track 2 is my favorite, it’s one of those signature Thi’sl tracks that he’s become known for. The only thing I wish was different with this track is the long period of play-through between the verses; It feels like something is missing there. Despite that, I still think this is a dope song.
Every song on a Thi’sl album is going to have that trademark gritty vibe to it, and the next track is no exception. King of the Trap is a song about how even though it may look hopeless and desolate in these innercity communities, Jesus Christ is still King of every hood. He’s still on the throne sending soldiers into the places where many ministers are scared to go, just to spread His word and shine light in these dark places.
Thi’sl is a great motivator, and when he makes a motivational track it doesn’t sound forced or cliche’. Song’s like Keep Grinding, a song encouraging fathers to continue doing their good work, and Inside Out a motivational track for women to see their true beauty are very necessary pieces of Fallen King. A real king stays and handles responsibility with his family, raising his children and putting food on the table. We live in a society where fallen kings have turned women into objects of lust and perversion, but Thi’sl takes the opportunity to highlight the men and women who are the exception to these norms.
Three more tracks on Fallen King really stood out to me. The first one is Rooks featuring the young vocal sensation SPZRKT. The message in this song is so deep. Think about a person who walks around thinking he’s ‘made it’ and in his mind is a king. Bringing that person to a realization that he is not a king but actually the lowest on the totem pole is like going from the penthouse suite to the blow up bed in your mom’s basement. WLAK said it this way, “It’s a long way down!” These young men in the hood grow up thinking that to become a man you have to get street cred, women, and fast money. Nothing could be further from manhood, and no part of that life resembles the life of a king. Thi’sl calls a spade a spade, and a rook a rook.
The next song that stood out to me was Dream Team. I really like this song, the hook is very catchy and really like the message in this one as well; A dope song overall. The third standout track is, Take My Life featuring his St. Louis homies Flame and Json. This joint here is one of those tracks that I would love to see performed live. Giving one’s life is the ultimate sacrifice and these three paint that picture so vividly. If you have not seen the video for this track, do yourself a favor and check it out.
Moving on, Do Somethin Bout It featuring Full Ride Music recording artist Nonna, is a dope track about getting out a making difference instead of just sitting around talking and complaining about problems. Nonna holds it down for the femcees with a hot verse for sure. The album then closes out with the title track, Fallen King, featuring Marz and Be King with Laquan Green. Both tracks have a mellow vibe and do a good job of turning down the album as it closes out.
The production on Fallen King is awesome, thanks in part to Laquan Green who produced 6 tracks on the album and appeared on 2 songs as a guest artist. Laquan and Thi’sl clearly have great chemistry whenever it comes to making music. Additionally, the flow and tracklisting of the album was done well; Fallen King takes you on a full ride (pun intended) througout this album with visuals painted with the words from the view of a king and a rook. I would say that this is Thi’sl’s best work to date and I’m looking forward to seeing how he builds on this in the future.
Fallen King is available for sale on iTunes and other digital retailers.