Since their inception in 2010, and the release of their critically-acclaimed cult-classic debut album, Finger Snaps and Gun Claps, the gentlemen known as King Fantastic have been far ahead of the status quo.
"The group's big beat vitriol," described by the Los Angeles Times, sets them apart in the current formulaic and mundane world of hip hop.
Their music is nostalgic for the level of authenticity, originality, and skill of the LA underground hip hop scene of the late 90s. The freestyle independence and musical styles of the era, coupled with today's progressive bass music, gave birth to 'Westcoastsynthesizerbeachbumgangstermusic,' a term tagged by the group.
"This is not hipster music. This is gangster shit. Nothing watered down, this bangs hard, but still manages to be unique and loaded in the style department." – Pigeons and Planes
With DJ/producer Troublemaker's bass heavy beats and rapper Killer Reese One's braggadocios rhymes, as well as their original and provocative videos, such as the multi-million viewed "Why? Where? What?" featuring pornstar Kristina Rose, King Fantastic push the envelope from every angle one can dream of. They choose not to be a part of the machine, but instead rage against it. 100% independent, self-financed, with complete creative control. Thus, their rabid cult-like fanbase.
Their live show is explosive and on some occasions followed by a visit to the local police station (and not by the member you would think). It's honest truth without embellishment, and there is not an outfit currently like this pair.
“In a period where hip hop has progressively feathered itself in with electronic, this producer/lyricist duo successfully sucker punches the other doldrums just sittin’ around stale.” – Indieshuffle
Following their full-length debut, two EPs (2011's Death of Summer and 2012's SocioPoliticalPimpTalk), and a run of shows ranging from college frat parties, to dive bar strip clubs, and festivals like Audiotistic, Bamboozle, and Paid Dues, King Fantastic's steady ascent was put on hold for 2 years while Killer Reese One was on a state sponsored vacation.
During this time, the duo crafted their new album, The Great Man Theory, over the phone and by smuggling beat CDs into Avenal State Prison, where Reese could put on his headphones and spend the time writing. Also, it allowed Troublemaker to take their project a step further, by writing and producing more musically evolved songs.
This was a much different process from the group's standard record-a-song-in-a-day and hang out at the beach ways of yesteryear.
Two years older and wiser, King Fantastic's new long player touches on their previous releases, along with expanded melodic elements (featuring guitar player and vocalist Ryan Crosby), making this album what enamored hip hop fans of the 90's have been waiting for.
"This sound is what hip hop was supposed to grow up and be. As the first adults from the 'Hip Hop Generation,' we have a responsibility to speak from that perspective." says Killer Reese One, "We're still edgy, because that's the culture we grew up in, but we're also grown men with a different approach to most facets of our lives. The album and sound has no gimmicks. It's clean. It has a classic feel. An MC writing a movie and a DJ/producer scoring it and guiding the listener."
Let's be honest, these dudes have been super slept on, but when you listen to their music you can't argue the fact they continue to be way ahead.
The beach bums are back. The Great Man Theory, out October 14th.