Allan Kingdom ‘Northern Lights’ – ALBUM REVIEW

This Allan Kingdom article was written by Lucas Oakley, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Sam Forsdick.

Having already graced Kanye West’s ‘All Day’ in 2015,  there is no denying that 22 year old Allan Kyrariga, a.k.a. Allan Kingdom, a.k.a The Peanut Butter Prince is one of the hottest properties in the rap game at the moment and as such  2016 looks to be the biggest year of his career to date. ‘Northern Lights’ is his latest eclectic effort and it certainly proves his already impressive pedigree.

Lyrical allusions are immediately made to Kingdom’s collaboration with Kanye as maiden track ‘The Ride’ proclaims loud and proud that “’Ye told me drive slow”. Despite these references it is clear that Kingdom intends to step outside of Kanye’s shadow and create his own musical footprint through his own distinct flow and signature pared back style. This is just what he does in ‘Fables’ where, aided by the talent of Chronixx, he has created a sound that draws listeners in with its irrepressibly catchy hook and keeps them engaged through the depth and complexity of his lyrics. ‘Fables’ is easily the most accessible track on the album and is very likely to make some big waves over the next few months.

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Not satisfied with merely making music that sounds great, Kingdom also brings the “savage back” to hip-hop in ‘Monkey See’ as he makes a brash call to arms regarding the monotonous sound that seems to be reverberating around the genre. Imploring others to do the same, Kingdom stands as a maverick who isn’t afraid to voice his own opinion. ‘Disconnect’ further cements Kingdom’s status as the voice of a disenfranchised generation as he speaks of a growing frustration amongst youth surrounding technology, damning LOLS and BFFS to make a rather pertinent statement on the vastly changing world around us.

Buoyed along by a respectful use of auto tune and the influence of Jared Evan, ‘Hypocrite’ is a far more heartfelt track that manages to portray a more personal side to Kingdom’s persona. ‘Believe’ has a similar effect, with the album as a whole appearing to be one that isn’t afraid to pull its punches and speak the uncomfortable truth when and where it is necessary. Although the use of auto tune in ‘I Feel Ya’ feels a little overcooked, the sheer level of experimentation involved in all these songs makes it difficult to do anything but respect the variety on offer. Kingdom isn’t afraid to think outside of the box and certainly hits the mark far more than he misses.

Title piece ‘Northern Lights’ accentuates how Kingdom has really been “on a mission lately” and further cements the ability of his music to appeal to hip-hop heads and a mass audience alike. ‘Outta Pocket’ is the final track on the album and acts as an apt metaphor for the work as a whole with its clever choice of collaboration with Gloss Gang and careful craftsmanship that never sounds too well oiled. If Kingdom continues to release music of this quality then his transition from the “Next Big Thing” to simply the “Big Thing” is only a matter of time.

‘Northern Lights’ has been self released by Allan Kingdom and is available now for free download from allan-kingdom.com

Allan Kingdom Northern Lights