Joining Melbourne-based Unkut Recordings in 2014, Kings Konekted (KK) consisting of Dontez (MC & Producer), Culprit (MC) and Stricknine (DJ & Producer), released the excellent 16-track album Corrupted Citizens in late 2015.
Corrupted Citizens is the highly anticipated full length follow up to their 2009 mixtape debut, Trials to the Underlair: The Prequel, and building on the 2013 6-track EP The Campaign, previously released on Class A Records (who have previously released albums from Chino XL, KRS ONE, MF Grimm, Thristin Howl & Rack-Lo).
Clever wordplay, interesting subject matter and a unique production sound has been a signature trademark of Kings Konekted, covering topics such as history, politics, racial issues, communism, daily life and everything in between. This album is littered with a good mixture of similes and metaphors, a diverse vocabulary and clever punch lines, which contributes to the high replay value of the album. Culprit and Dontez keep it more than interesting throughout, using a variety of flows and rhyming patterns over the top of quality beats. Cleverly written lines such as, “Wiser the wasp the sharper the sting, cross me and cop a punishment like cardinal sins,” is just one of many that make this album entertaining. By analysing the lyrics, researching their history and back catalogue, the more impressive Corrupted Citizens itself becomes.
Knowing that Culprit has Serbian ancestry and Dontez is from an Aboriginal-Italian background also places many lyrics in a new, enlightened perspective and emphasises the importance of what they are both saying (and not). An interesting dynamic to the album is how both emcees touch on subject matters related to not only their own personal circumstances and ancestry, but also each others.
It is hard to pick standout tracks from such a consistent release. “Windtalkers,” where Culprit and Dontez break down their slang helps listeners (especially outside of Queensland, Australia) to understand their vernacular, which is one of the things which makes this group/release so unique. “The Sit Down” featuring Trem One and DJ 2Buck and “Value of Adaption” are also favourites. One of the true strengths of this release is that there are no fillers, even the three interludes come on at perfect times throughput the album.
Matching the quality of the rhymes on Corrupted Citizens are the beats and cuts. While The Campaign EP featured production predominately from Trem One and Prowla, a conscious effort was made to let Dontez’s production shine on their debut album, but still has featured production from Must and Prowla. The beats on this album are perfectly compliment by the rhyme styles of both emcees, and with final oversight from Trem One, the listener is left with a well developed, complete sound that is a must listen for any hip hop fan.
Overall an exceptional release and one of the most well-rounded albums to emerge from Australia in the last few years.