King Los and Peter Gunz | Photo Credit: Cee The Photographer @ceethephotographer


Corey Gunz and King Los | Photo Credit: Cee The Photographer @ceethephotographer


(L to R) - Fred The Godson, Young Jack Thriller, Mecca, Peter Gunz | Photo Credit: Cee The Photographer @ceethephotographer


Last night at Quad Recording Studios in New York City, King Los had a listening event for his upcoming mixtape Zero Gravity II. The event was magnificent. Last year, Los released Becoming King in late April 2013 to mixed reviews. Los can flat-out rap, no one is questioning that, but his transition from underground star to a mainstream artist has been rocky. Listening to Zero Gravity II, you can see that Los has been working diligently on that transition. There aren't many of features on this tape, and it swings from dark sounds to trap music to something for the ladies. His most impressive song was probably "Woke Up Like This," a play off the hook from Beyonce's "Flawless" that provides a high replay value.

XXL caught up with Los at the listening last night to discuss his growth as an artist. "I step more sonically into my bag," Los said of this new project.  "I'm the type of person who, if I desire something enough, that I'm going to work on it."

The elephant in the room was the recently-announced news that Los has left Bad Boy Records. Los made the announcement on Sway In The Morning on Shade 45 yesterday that he is parting ways with Diddy’s longtime label. This isn’t the first time King Los left Bad Boy; he parted ways with the company initially back in 2008 after a legal situation with Los’ then-indie label and spent a couple of years building his brand on the Internet and releasing a ton of material. He then went on to re-sign to Bad Boy in 2012.

'The decision to pursue other endeavors—it was recent," said Los. "It's just like, I've been doing a considerable amount of work with my tapes and my tours, and a lot of times things conflict with the other schedules. So if I have to do extra and have to do more then I'm going to need that freedom to go out and do certain things and have access to things. A lot of times it’s a business and takes longer when you're under someone's command. It has nothing to do with Bad Boy; it has everything to do with me and the way I want to move."

This could be as a result of Becoming King, a solid project that basically came and went. But the conversation between Puff and Los that led to his second leave from Bad Boy happened months ago. "We talked about it months before," Los said. "Puff basically gave me the option to do whatever I wanted to do. Because it was more of an Interscope thing, it was less of a Bad Boy situation."

Did Interscope undervalue Los? "Naw, they didn’t undervalue me because we never really got to establish something to have a basis on which we can differentiate the two," Los explained. "Things fell in the road by the time I was into the rotation. You had French, you had Cassie do something, you had MGK, and that takes time. They putting together albums, they got campaigns, and of course Interscope got other artists. Doing what I was doing and coming from where I was coming from, they didn’t even know me like that. It was really Puff saying, this is that kid. It was mostly him stamping me. They didn’t sleep on me, they just didn’t really know who It was." Emmanuel C.M.