D-Loc – “25 to Life” review

D-Loc is a 43 year old rapper, producer & DJ from Placentia, California known for founding the rip hop outfit Kottonmouth Kings along with his childhood friends Saint Dog & Johnny Richter in 1996. Despite the revolving door of members within the last 25 years, the Kings would release a chockfull of material together. My personal favorites of which being Royal Highness, Hidden Stash, High Society, Hidden Stash II: The Kream of the Krop, Rollin’ Stoned, Fire It Up, Cloud 9, The Green Album & Mile High. However, it wouldn’t be until 2010 when Loc dropped his solo debut Made for Kings under Suburban Noize Records. This was followed up at the tail-end of 2018 with the sophomore effort Ripperside & now just 6-months after Saint Dog’s unexpected passing, we’re getting a new “Kottonmouth Kings” album that only D-Loc has been promoting for the past several months.

The first song following the intro “P.T.B. on the Creep” contains an instrumental kin to Dr. Dre & Scott Storch that I actually like, but it’s funny how D-Loc says anyone who thought the group is done is crazy when he’s actually continuing to bury the name himself by doing it solely. The next track “Orange County” is a short punk rock tribute to the SoCal region that raised him, but then Damn Dad himself is featured with Loc for the next 5 songs starting off with the rap metal-influenced “Fight Music”.

We go back into the punk shit on the fittingly titled “25th Anniversary” before taking a mellow detour on “Dance the Block”, which encourages the listener to be lifted brainlessly. The song “New Day” seems like they’re trying to recapture the spark of “Positive Vibes” except it has a more reggae influenced sound & then before Damn Dad hops back on the boards, he & D-Loc deliver the punky moshpit anthem “Kings of the Underground”.

The g-funk influenced “OG King” is pretty much Loc proclaiming himself as such, but then “Anarchy” is the definition of fake woke as the beat fuses together elements of trap & metal. After an interlude, the track “Away We Go” incorporates as a jangly guitar & some whistling with lyrics obviously being about smoking weed whereas “Time Flies” reminisces on his career over a hyphy instrumental.

“Paisley Grey” is a sincerely endearing tribute to D-Loc’s youngest daughter while the song “Home” goes into a more psychedelic trap sound as he details his family life. Damn Dad is featured 1-last time on “Web of Lies”, which is a garish punk/trap crossover about how KMK will never die. The track “Watch It Grow” is a stripped back anthem about weed being legalized nationwide & then “Legends Never Die” is a wavy tribute to Saint Dog. But before the outro, the final song “Don’t Forget Me” expresses his desire to be remembered over some acoustics & live drumming.

I don’t wanna sound like a hater at all because to this day, I still enjoy all of those past KMK albums I mentioned at the top of the review. However, this is nothing more than solo D-Loc album being marketed as a new Kottonmouth Kings group effort to make a quick buck. It’s like if the Fugees continued with just Wyclef as the only member. Obviously that won’t ever happen, but you get the idea. Even though I genuinely appreciate the fact that Damn Dad brought back the rip hop sound Kingdom Come was lacking, the performances & songwriting are both subpar for a good portion of the hour. I really hope Loc makes things right with Richter & the rest of the fans down the road.

Score: 1.5/5

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