During the recording of God Save The King, underground veteran Copywrite went through several life events that, ultimately, led to him rediscovering his faith. The result is an album that sandwiches the lyricism-heavy tracks he has become known for between two cuts that extol where he is now as a man of faith.

At 17 tracks, and deriving its title from the Sex Pistols' classic God Save The Queen, the album is a journey through the mind and life of an MC that has spent years grinding it out as an independent artist. From early vinyl only 12” singles on Fondle Em’ with MHz, to the formation of The Weathermen, to being courted by Just Blaze, Copy has experienced more in his career than many rappers. The one constant along the way is that he has maintained his integrity and art, and this shines through on the album.

One of the strengths of GSTK is Copywrite’s ability to flow seamlessly over laid-back or up-tempo tracks, spitting multis, punchlines, and wordplay along the way. He often does so while maintaining deep subject matter, a feat that sometimes mars other rappers and requires them to keep their raps to formulaic topics.

Conceptually, the album holds up with thematic tracks, such as when Casual, Evidence and Roc Marciano join on “Golden State (Of Mind).” The track blends some of the finest lyricists that the underground has to offer, and all shine over Vanderslice’s piano-laden beat and crafty cuts. They flex wordplay about what an average day in Cali is like for those that call it home, and what a regular visit is like for guests. The take on the rap industry “White Democrats” (featuring Mac Leathal), the Dire Straits cover “Yo! MTV Raps! (Money For Nothing)”, and “Synesthesia” are also standouts, and show an artist willing to work outside the box.

Production wise, the sounds match the fortitude of the lyrics. Bronze Nazareth, although manning only two of the bangers, contributes some of the strongest beats on the album with “Love” and “Blue Ribbon.” It’s a producer and artist pairing that would make a welcome future collaborative project. On “Love,” Copy and MHz compatriot Tage Future bring heavy wordplay and strong punch lines.

The main shortcoming to the album is that a few of the cuts do not hit right from the start, and lack some sonic punch to draw in the listener. However, this is the sort of album that benefits from multiple listens and grows with each. God Save The King should turn some doubters to believers. —Matt Wright