Photo via thagodfahim.bandcamp.com

3.5 Stars

“Lost Kingz” by Tha God Fahim is the most recent album following the trend of 90s East-Coast influenced mood albums. By that, I mean albums that you can just throw on and listen to from beginning to end in a short enough amount of time that the album maintains a consistent tone throughout. In this case, that tone harkens back to Wu-Tang Clan-type production. 

Other recent examples of these types of albums I would point to are: Earl Sweatshirt’s “Feet of Clay,” Mach-Hommy’s “Wap Kohn Joj,” and Quelle Chris’ “Guns.” I would even group Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s “Bandana” in a similar category, all of these artists very obviously influenced by “Madvillainy.” And even though “Lost Kingz” lacks the polish of its peers and predecessors, at 28 minutes in length it might be just what you need for your snowy commute.

One of the album’s greatest strengths is also one of its greatest weaknesses, and that’s how it all blends together. While the industrial type production, is simple, goes with Fahim’s voice well, and allows listeners to just turn the album on and enjoy it all the way through, the problem is that it is hard to differentiate individual songs. The songs featuring Mach-Hommy and Vinnie Paz help spice things up a bit and shake up the monotony, both of them lending some of the freshest verses on the project.

Fahim’s flow is very old school. You could play him alongside 90s New York rap and you wouldn’t be able to tell he’s rapping in 2020 and not 1990. He sounds like U-God or Inspectah Deck at their heights. “Lost Kings” is comparable to Deck’s “Uncontrolled Substance” but hits at only half the runtime which is much appreciated. There are two memorable and featureless songs on the album. The opening track “Iron Fist” really sets up the tone well for the whole project and is an easy determiner as to whether or not you’ll want to listen to the rest of the album. The song “Cash Rulez” is the last track and, vocally, Fahim really shines with the most memorable hook on the album, and is an obvious homage to Wu-Tang Clan’s “C.R.E.A.M.” The production on that track, however, is pretty weak. It’s a fairly boring beat and the way it is mixed sounds terrible through headphones. Listening to the individual parts of it is a bit of a mess. It really bogs down what should have been a good note to end on.

“Lost Kingz” is a very listenable album. It belongs on a playlist titled “Lo-Fi East Coast Type Hip Hop to Study To,” which is a totally respectable position for the album to be in. It shows that Fahim blends styles well. It’s a really nice throwback and can satisfy a specific itch if you’re looking for fresh voices to a familiar sound. Tha God Fahim may not be as strong as some of his peers, but he still deserves your streams and your attention. Keep an eye on him.