Who Dat Rapper?
Who Dat Rapper 05-06-17
At 6’7″, with a matching strong, articulate voice, King Sun released his first single in 1987. This lead to his debut album XL, released a couple years later. It was the Bronx rapper’s introduction to the cosmos. He debuted an explosive style and had all the characteristics to be great. Sun combined smooth, party rocking rhymes with intelligent lyrics inspired by the teachings of the 5% Nation. Lets revist this King’s career.
“Snakes” was one of the standout tracks on his debut. Our host lets loose on serpents that walk amongst us. He talked specifics in each verse. One of the most memorable is his story about someone who told his girl he was cheating. He even touches on the oval office when he rhymes:
Even in the White House, without a doubt
Find a snake and let’s cast them out
This song couldn’t be more applicable today. This is a standout song about snitches that so many MC’s rhyme about.
What set this album apart from so many at the time was its trilogy of love songs. 1987’s “Hey Love” was one of hip hops first love songs . Over the familiar Art of Noise sample, King Sun kicks some serious game in the first part….the pursuit.
The feeling that I have is much too strong
If loving you is wrong, then I guess I’m wrong.
Who wants to be right, I just want you
If only you knew what you put me through
My eyes behold the woman im looking for
It’s you, you’re the girl I adore.
I can’t front, I stole those words, and wrote a poem for Akaiya in the 7th grade. Man I was into her. The game continues on “Do I Love You” as he proves his love. This one sounded like an early New Edition could have sang the hook. “Time to Go” discussed the inevitable to all relationships, (well just mine) the breakup. Over another familiar sample, King Sun vents his frustration on the girl that has cheated on him. Ahh well, to quote Guru, Ex to the Next.
King Sun – Hey Love
King Sun – Do I Love You
King Sun – Time To Go
Another standout was “Fat Tape” where he describes mixtapes. King Sun goes in on other rappers on the incredible “Mythological Rappers.” D-Moet produced this gem and went on to do production for Nas. King Sun kicks his battle rhymes on an upbeat track that certainly got you out of your seat.
King Sun – On The Club Tip
King Sun’s debut showed range. His handle on love songs rivals LL’s. He also showcased his battle rhymes and even showed he was conscious which would flood over into his sophomore album, Righteous but Ruthless.
Righteous but Ruthless
1990 was a year where rappers were focused on self awareness and harbored insane amounts of black pride. Sun let us know on this project he was a part of the Nation of Gods and Earth (aka 5% Nation). One of the most powerful songs of that year was his next single, “Be Black.” He showcased an unapologetically Afrocentric view and even threw shots at other rappers at the time.
If it wasn’t for Chuck you wouldn’t know of Farrakhan
I understand that the man is a paragon
Open up your eyes and ears and try to learn
Stop perpetratin with your false concern
Even some rappers, frontin in their videos
Nothing but Oreos, tryin to be memorial
I’m not impressed, by the way some stars
perpetrate to be original, you know who you are
One could only imagine if he was going at the entire Native Tongue movement. Our host doesn’t just give us a lesson, but also goes into a diatribe on chicks he believes are fake.
“As modern day God, I do analysis
To find out what makes them hard like callouses
Instead of being sweet, truthful and soft
They wanna be false and that turns me off
Your hair’s not real, neither are your eyes
And your makeup is swine plus a big disguise
Your clothes are tight, I can see every inch
And then you wonder how I get this urge to pinch
Sellin your sex, without makin love
I’m not Keith to be Sweat-in you and that’s unheard of
If I got dollars, I’m good for your number
If I look fine, I get a one night slumber
Wham, bam, but no thank you ma’am
Wanna knock the boots but you don’t know who I am
This is not a diss to my black sista
If I screamed on ya daughter, pardon me mista
The point I’m makin, such a visual fact
Teach her to be original, and how to be black
And who can forget this?
“Yo I’m from Africa!” Boy you’re just a faker
Name one city – “Uhh, Jamaica!”
WRONG… and I think that’s a shame
An African look with an American name
King Sun – Be Black
“King Sun with the Sword,” and “Big Shot” both highlight his deep baritone as he verbally spars with those that just aren’t woke. “Undercover Lover” is a quick departure from his teachings. Over Stevie Wonder’s “Hey Love” sample, Sun shows reminds us how smooth he can be on this ode to side chicks. Even though he’s kicking that game, I wouldn’t do everything he says. The end of the song comes with a serious lesson. I should have watched this video a few more times in the 9th grade.
King Sun – Undercover Lover
I can’t go any further without mentioning the obvious. King Sun has a distinct resemblance to the god Rakim. He subtley addresses this in “Cold New Yorkin” and incorporates a Rakim vocal sample in the hook. This album showcased an extremely focused MC who wasn’t done just yet.
Fat Joe- Represent
Fat Joe Da Gangsta – Another Wild Nigger From The Bronx ft King Sun, Gismo & Kool Keith
King Sun’s 3rd album, Strictly Ghetto was released in 1994 on the legendary Cold Chillin label. “Humm These Nuts” was definitely a stand out on this album. Over beautiful production, Kin Sun addresses his haters. After one listen, you will no doubt be singing along with the vulgar hook.
King Sun – Humm deez nuts
“Suck No Dick” was 3 verses of ether. The first 2 were generic, but the final verse was dedicated to Ice Cube. Apparently King Sun helped Cube in a situation at the New Music Seminar in 1990. Our host clearly was mad when Cube didn’t give him what he wanted.
“This is from your peoples on the East Coast
Ice Cube, you on the tube playin’ all high post
But when you was in some beef I was there to help
Then when I needed help – I had to help my damn self
This is for the record, yo, but off the books
I hit you with my demo and you crooked my hook
Yo, that’s ‘wicked’, I kicked it in pursuit Uptown
When the ‘Boyz n the Hood’ ‘Trespass’, we beat ’em down
Check your neck while I flex some New York slang
Niggas don’t really be ‘true to the game’
King Sun had other tough rhymes in “Robbin of Da Hood,” and “Street Corner.” “BNS Sex” was a sexcapade, but lacked the originality of an “Undercover Lover.” This album was a departure from his last. The nation of the Gods and Earths philosophies and politics are gone. Like MC Hammer, Grand Daddy IU and other MC’s from that era, they switched up their styles and showcased a harder image.
King Sun was dormant until the late 90’s. Ever hear one of the most scathing diss tracks ever, “Hit Em Up”? One of the threats the immortal 2Pac said “if there is any niggas in New York who wanna bring it, bring it.” King Sun took notice, introduced a new moniker and discusses his feeling on “Don’t Know How to Act” and “New York Love”
King Sun – Don’t Know How To A.C.T.
Doo Wop & Sun Dullah – New York Love (All Eyez On Sun)
Say No More
King Sun released his fourth album, Say No More, in 1999. These tracks certainly made a splash in the hip hop pool. This flew under most peoples radar. The lack of videos or promotion didn’t help. Over a fast paced production, King Sun lets us know he can still rhyme with the best of them. on “Mr Untouchable.”
King Sun – Mr Untouchable
In 2013, the legend was filmed freestyling in front of NYC’s SOB’s against battle rapper, Iron Solomon. Who won?
Iron Solomon vs King sun
If you ever hear an artist that had a strong delivery like Rakim kicking some knowledge, and think, Who Dat Rapper….thats King Sun.
WHO DAT RAPPER? is a weekly column featuring oft-forgotten and slept on Hip-Hop artists. Do you have a suggestion? Comment below.
Who Dat Rapper 05-06-17