Kings Konekted - Corrupted Citizens (CD)

Kings Konekted - Corrupted Citizens (CD)

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K Double. West line democracy. Four three. Dontez. Culprit. The Chief and the Captain.

Kings Konekted hail from the tumultuous terrain of Brisbane’s western suburbs, and follow in the tradition of great rap duos that boast equally skilled MCs with distinct and complementary flows. Think Erick Sermon and PMD, Havoc and Prodigy, Ghost and Rae. And like their forebears, Konekted’s impermeable slang reflects the place where they dwell. Their dialect is opaque and territorial, painting unmistakable visuals with every breath. Replace the US East Coast’s bleak winter with the sticky summers of Brisbane’s west line and you’re part way there. Every verse lets you into the back seat of the Falcon, puts you privy to murky in-jokes and felonious proposals.

Following their rapturously received mixtape Trails to the Underlair in 2009 and the incendiary 2013 EP The Campaign on Class A Records, Dontez and Culprit signed to Unkut Recordings, where they’ve become the first act outside of the core Lyrical Commission crew to release an album, ably taking the torch for the label’s long-term protocol of quality over quantity.

Corrupted Citizens, the duo’s debut full-length proper is almost entirely an in house affair. Every track is produced by Dontez, save one each by Must (‘Heat Conductors’) and the legendary Prowla (the Culprit solo ‘Such is Life’), and even those are cut from the same cloth of narcotic loops as Donnie’s own increasingly refined production. Guest verses are scarce – only summoning faithful retainer Suss One and Unkut boss Trem One for respective sixteens. Trem has also overseen and executive produced the whole repertoire, assembling the parts and executing cuts alongside Stricknine and DJ 2Buck, while Abella Stone exhales ethereal vocals on the closing epic ‘The Hand Dealt’.

Here’s where we let you in on a secret: Most hip hop in this country is bullshit – not because of faulty accents, or the feeble timbre of voices or lackluster subject matter – but because the rappers are not poets. Real wordsmiths craft lines that fuck with the chemistry of your auditory cortex when they hit.
Very few names aside, almost no antipodean MCs transcend the mundane with genuinely unique verbal arrangements that give you that feeling. Bottom line: Culprit and Dontez got that. You can tell by the solidarity, conviction and poise these men muster with every couplet as they roll with assured menace through the length of album. They unpick life at the seams and unpack the nuances of the daily operations of the real Australia, tapping their Indigenous and the immigrant bloodlines and their wider circles of comrades and cutthroats.

The pair’s exemplary wordplay is matched by a forensic attention to detail in structure. Rarely content to simply trade off sixteen-bar verses, they have authentic pass-the-mic empathy. Witness it in full flight on ‘Misconceptions’, a jaw-droppingly gymnastic five-and-a-half minutes of spits with barely a breath drawn. They do it again while decoding their speech for the listener on ‘Windtalkers’. A homage to Big L’s iconic ‘Ebonics’, it hews close to its forefather – the cadence as well as the concept immediately recalls that classic – but the Chief and the Captain make it their own. Elsewhere, lead track ‘Value of Adaption’ is accompanied by a cinematic clip executed in crisp monochrome by Unkut visualists Heata and Josh Davis. It’s calm, collected and crucial to the bigger Corrupted picture. Queensland: beautiful one day, a seething hotbed of corruption the next. Kings Konekted is buying history. If crews knew...

1. Corrupted Citizens
2. Heat Conductors
3. Value Of Adaption
4. Windtalkers
5. Rule Of Thumb
6. Til The Last Word (Interlude)
7. The Sit Down (ft. Trem 1 & DJ 2Buck)
8. White Lies Grey Agendas
9. Such Is Life
10. Soldiers Lament
11. Summer (Interlude)
12. Faithful Retainers (ft. Suss One The Corax Type)
13. Misconceptions
14. Two deep
15. The Hand Dealt (ft. Abella Stone)
16. Disembark (Outro)