• S
    • M
    • L
    • XL
    • XXL
      • XXL
      • XL
      • L
      • M
      • S

Mixtape Review: Los, Becoming King

It’s been a long time coming for Los. After the release of his The Crown Ain’t Safe mixtape, suitors came from far and wide to sign the DMV flamespitter. Interestingly enough, Los ended up returning to Bad Boy Records in 2012, the label he was previously signed to that failed to utilize his lyrical skillset and cut him lose in 2008. Whether he’ll get a proper push this time around remains to be seen, and on his latest mixtape, Becoming King, Los showcases his talents and takes advantage of some mainstream resources.

Becoming King focuses on the transition period of Los from an underground star to a mainstream artist, though he’s really not there yet. There are heartfelt tales touching on his family, love for music and the trials and tribulations of life. As usual, Los’ strongest asset is an ability to deliver vivid imagery through lyrics and a captivating flow. His best stories often come when he’s alone, (See “My Biz”), so the overabundance of features is at times overwhelming. Collaborations with DMV  natives like Raheem Devaughn or Pusha T come naturally, but the Ludacris and Tank features feel forced.

The production on Becoming King is a smorgasbord of sounds, which keeps the project from honing in on a particular vibe or feel. Nevertheless Harry Fraud’s vicious beat on “Dope,” combining sharp snares with strings is an attention grabber, as is “OD,” produced by Sonny Digital.

Lyrically, Los is as sharp as ever, and the mixtape is a continuation of the verbal assaults he’s known for. He keeps up with Twista on “We Ain’t The Same,” and displays his lyrical acumen on “Pay Up” with bars like “Shit is getting critical, you niggas is getting pitiful/Thinking miniscule, I think they think I’m in the scoop/ No I’m into schoolin’ these foolish cats who bend the rules/If you don’t want the roof to cave in, you gotta bend the rules.” Los has a way of keeping listeners on their toes by setting a furious pace, that challenges listeners to keep up with.

The unnecessary reliance on features and an overall lack of cohesiveness on Becoming King means Los won’t be crowned just yet. But he shows he’s still got the lyrical toolset to become a force in the game as time progresses.—Christian Mordi  (@mordi_thecomeup)

  • Dakota

    I’m sorry but this is a terrible review. This mixtape was genius and had something for literally every hip hop fan. “M” in originality? really? find me a rapper who flows and has advanced lyrical wordplay like Los does. Oh and by the way you don’t even have the song name right it’s “Pay Up” not “Pay Day”. Really disappointing review.

  • normal

    deserved a “M” overall…

  • TY

    The mixtape is an XXL, y’all just don’t like Los. You know damn well he deserved freshman, but XXL has some against him

    • Dakota

      They’ve left him off the freshman list for like 5 years in a row lol. He would eat every rapper alive on this year’s list. ScHoolboy Q and Logic are cool though.

  • http://twitter.com/DLloyd24 D-Lloyd

    Los did a lot of style biting on this mixtape, he needs to find his on style.

    • http://twitter.com/ayysenior alex senior

      i agree this wasn’t los this was los trying to be someone else

    • Nick Critel

      What if Los was aiming to evolve his style with this mixtape? Just because it isn’t entirely like his previous mixtapes doesn’t mean that he wasn’t being true to his musical interests.

  • http://twitter.com/ayysenior alex senior

    dissapointed in this mixtape i love los but this was diddy not him. after making us wait so long he comes out with this. i saw he did a track with twista a perfect time to show that he could keep up with the fastest rapper in the world and he didn’t do it. would have been sick if they challenged each other lyrically with a speed challenge on that track.

    • Nick Critel

      There is a reason Twista is the FASTEST rapper, no one is faster than him. Twista put a sweet touch on that track. Everyone that listens to rap should be able to tell that Los is the better of the two, so there was no need for him to challenge twista.

  • Brandon Pitts

    This is the best mixtape of the year.. hands down