Trae Tha Truth, Street King
On his sixth solo album, Trae Tha Truth crowns himself Street King, and it’s far from an empty proclamation. With his smoky speech and sinister flow, Trae plants his feet firmly in the asphalt and refuses to be a guest on his own album, despite the project featuring the all-star likes of Lil Wayne, Big Boi, Rick Ross, Game and Jadakiss.
On the Wiz Khalifa-assisted single “Getting Paid,” Trae boasts, “I’m in the hood like a fresh set of projects/Where they either rock blue or they rock red/I’m the king of the streets/Ain’t nobody finna take away what I came to get.” He’s gets equally as gritty on the title track “Street King,” sneering, “I ain’t jump out here to be a star, I jumped out here to be a G.” The H-Town MC from the Asshole By Nature Gang stands his ground on the soulful “That’s Not Luv,” featuring Lil Wayne, and holds down the second verse in between Rick Ross and Jadakiss on the “Inkredible Remix.”
Because Trae is able to shine on the album, it's easy to wonder what it would have been like had he not invited so many friends along for the party (16 of the project's 18 tracks have featured guests). Still, the guests are far from an issue, as the slew of rappers who are along for the ride are some of the game's best and, coming from multiple corners of the hip-hop landscape—from Lupe Fiasco to Wiz to Wyclef to Yo Gotti to Wale—add to the overall aesthetic.
Though it experienced some delays, Trae's most recent effort proves it was worth the wait. With hustle and ambition, Street King has an authentic feel that sees Trae doing the dark but soulful production more than justice. And that’s Tha Truth. —Mark Lelinwalla