Oakland-bred artist “Kingdom the Crown”, 23, has a powerful and descriptive message of the passage through slavery, from Africa to the modern African-American life. Tall, dark, and poetic, Kingdom brings a much needed voice into hip-hop that uplifts and inspires instead of degrading and demoralizing the minds of youth.
In his latest work for Black History, Kingdom wrote “SOS,” a song that speaks to the core of the struggle for past, present and future African-Americans.
As the song starts, he first reflects on the past, going back to Africa during colonization. “Brown eyed iris rebel revolutionary riots, racketeers racin’ become cavaliers, spears, fear and whole lotta tears,” Kingdom raps in the song.
Described plainly, he refers to what went on within the psyche of Africans as the bigger picture came across those who sold their own people into slavery. “Shackles make us lay down like we’re tackled,” he says.
Kingdom is a proud Oaklander, having been a member of two Silver Bowl Champion teams his sophomore and junior years playing football for McClymonds High School. He graduated from Oakland High School in 2009 and is now studying creative writing.
Raised in the church, music was always a part of his makeup.
“I took the philosophy that I knew in church and turned it into poetry over beats,” Kingdom, standing 6’1”, says in an interview with the Post.
His favorite verse deals with the inhumane conditions aboard the slave ships: “Actually conspiring to inspire dreams in minds of kings and queens.”
He hopes this song inspires African Americans to evolve from the bondage of the past into the possibilities of the present to create our future, Kingdom says.
He ends the song with a poem called The Captive. An excerpt from the poem reads, “Captive is stuck in captivity, and has grown to love confinement. The taste of defeat has numbed the tongue, but the luck of a bite, of the whisper, will entice the wish.”
Kingdom also recently worked with Bay Area engineer B-Let on the song, “Tread Lightly,” which is on YouTube and iTunes. For more information, find Kingdom the Crown on Soundcloud, Instagram, and Twitter.