In 2010, a Florida-based hip hop group called The King's Offspring (Heir Jordan, Skuba, Espio, and Isaac Knox the producer) began releasing a track per week on Bandcamp in an ongoing mixtape called The Vocal Network. After the final track was released, the foursome saw more potential in their tunes. After picking the best, cleaning them up, and adding a few more tracks, The King's Offspring turned The Vocal Network into a legitimate album called God, Girls and Glazed Donuts.
While God, Girls and Glazed Donuts isn't technically a mixtape, it is based off of one, and it's easy to tell. It's not really because of quality (the only noticeable production problem was that parts of "Runaround Girl" and "Devil's Greatest Trick" both sound louder than the rest of the tracks, which also causes a little bit of distortion in the speakers), but because of the fact that almost every track uses other songs as either a sample or as the beat of the song. While it's not a new concept, The King's Offspring has taken it and done a terrific job with it. For instance, one of the album highlights is "Rumor Has It," which uses the music and beat of Adele's "Rumour Has It." Using some creative mixing, the group dissected different sections of Adele's vocals and used them as almost background vocals throughout. It finishes with the original song's bridge, Adele included. They do the same thing with "The Golden Age," which uses the music and chorus from the soulful Brit pop song of the same name by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. The King's Offspring also sample a lot of outside sources, including - but not limited to - OneRepublic, Dion and the Belmonts, Inception, and the video game Chrono Trigger. It's all hip hop, but they uniquely draw from a wide range of inspirations.
Each of the emcees of The King's Offspring are talented vocalists. While, at times, you may be able to tell that they're relatively new on the mic, the potential is even more noticeable than the flaws. Based solely on the rapping, I can hear traces of Deepspace 5 and Tunnel Rats, plus a little Pigeon John. The beats also contain Tunnel Rats elements, like "FRESHman KOmposition" and "In, Not Of." These guys like to have fun, as you can tell with the sampling of fun songs (as well as the beatboxing of "Chemical Symbol For Sodium," which is provided by a friend of the group known as Rubox), but they can get down and serious when they need to (like they say in "FRESHman KOmposition": "We're not always really serious, but we're seriously real in all ways"). A lot of the songs' themes center around the song that's sampled, like a promiscuous girl in "Runaround Girl" ("Runaround Sue" by Dion and the Belmonts), creating your own golden age in "The Golden Age" ("The Golden Age" by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour), etc.
God, Girls and Glazed Donuts features an impressive group of guest vocalists, most of whom are rather unknown by the majority of music fans. Of course, there's an appearance from Heath McNease in "Chronotriggatalk," where he nearly steals the track (using the same lyrics he used in the first verse of his track "Gravel Spit" from the Wed, White & Wu mixtape). "Chronotriggatalk" features one of my favorite beats from this album, by the way. In addition to McNease, the track features an emcee who goes by Bezz Believe, and sounds somewhat like Deepspace 5's Freddie Bruno. "Everybody Loves Me" features a solid verse from SoyIsReal, "Devil's Greatest Trick" showcases some serious skill from Madd Illz, while the aforementioned Rubox provides raps in a couple of tracks, as well as some beatboxing. The remaining guest vocalists actually do some singing; Ashley Dudukovich from a group called Chasing Jonah provides some eerie (and honestly, pretty unappealing) vocals in "Devil's Greatest Trick," and the fun, motown-ish "Get You" gets vocals from Rebekkah Joy of a group called ONE31. Like I said, lots of unknown talent, but it's pretty solid stuff.
One of my favorite things about God, Girls and Glazed Donuts is that it's a mixture of a bunch of different styles that the group smashes together to make it work very well. Obviously, we have some modern rap and hip hop, then there's the motown, the pop, the rock (the subsequent pop rock), the doo-wop, and more samples than you can handle. There are many highlight tracks: "The Golden Age," "Rumor Has It," "Get You," "Chronotriggatalk," and more. The only track I could've done without is "Devil's Greatest Trick." It's not horrible, it just didn't seem to click as well as the rest. I highly recommend that modern hip hop fans head over to The King's Offspring's Bandcamp page and download this album. It's available for free, but you can donate or buy a physical copy as well. However you do it, just do it. I can't get it off of repeat.- Review date: 5/11/12, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: None
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