Updated: Nov 12
Little Rhody has sprouted with a number of eager talent impatiently waiting to represent their hometown on the world stage. Indeed, Rhode Island has yet to find its first rap phenomenon, although Young Money affiliate, Euro, came close to it back in 2014. Six years later, Israel Wusu breaks into the scene with his earnest project, “K I N G”, that places him in the conversation as one of the most promising artists in the state.
“K I N G” was released this past August, succeeding “Before it Starts” as Wusu’s latest fuller-length project. Wusu’s self-proclamation as a king on the album cover revitalizes his inner confidence that illuminates throughout the tracklisting.
Wusu sparks the tape with an influx of humble rhymes setting an impassioned welcome to his newest arrival of music. “Past Tense” emanates a further step of maturity that Wusu has experienced since his previous project saying, “I did not choke, I gave it time. Gave them more love, I lost my Grams in the knick of time, death is not a fear of mine.” Wusu’s early revealing of personal loss and self-improvement builds an honest foundation for the remainder of the album.
“So Supreme” and “King” displayed the Providence rapper’s fluency in creating multi-dimensional elements to accompany the instrumental. Wusu’s flows integrate smoothly with the soft melodic piano and synths. In these two songs, Wusu displays his ability to sing and rap and pushes his creativeness to combine these two styles to his advantage. We further hear his harmonizing vocals on “Roses.”
The closing song, “Letter to Grandma”, is undoubtedly Wusu’s most heartfelt song to date. A testament to his love for his late grandmother, Wusu candidly displays his admiration and longing for her. Wusu sings, “Who’s going to ride for me like you do, how could I forget the things that you do. I would never lie it hurts to miss you.” It was an impactful decision to conclude the album with a relatable tribute to his grandmother which was a revering finish.
“K I N G” stands as Wusu’s best project to date as he grows deeper into his artistry. Rhode Island producer, Marlinonthekeys, played an essential role in the album’s posterior, making every beat on the nine tracks. His R&B-influenced production carried Wusu’s flow and lyrical content and established them as a fitting duo. Authentic bars can be hard to come across in an era of oversaturated boasting, but Wusu never strays away from his authentic self on “K I N G.” It is easy to speculate that Wusu will remain true moving forward and will meet more success in doing so. In the meantime, Wusu may be leading the ship in the Ocean State’s search for Hip Hop recognition.