ABOVE: KING FANTASTIC. PHOTO COURTESY OF KEITH GROUT
Rap music is evolving, and the torchbearers of the new guard hail from . . . Venice Beach? Indeed, there is little that is typical about King Fantastic (the nom de guerre of L.A. rapper Killer Reese One and DJ/producer Troublemaker), who are quick to credit their seaside surroundings with providing the inspiration for their experimental brand of-hip hop. With Troublemaker’s bass and synth-heavy beats laying the foundation for Reese One’s carefully cultivated verses, modern hip hop has rarely sounded so eclectic.
If the duo is credited with creating a new genre in “West Coast synthesizer beach bum gangster music,” however, they take a more straightforward approach with today’s exclusive song premiere, a remix of the 2010 track “Appreciation.” Working with collaborator 3 Stripes, Troublemaker strips away the verses of the original song, leaving only a refrain of “Long live hip-hop” to play atop his hard-hitting dubstep beats. The hook is an intriguing one given the sonic context, but with results as hot as this, it’s hard to argue the message.
KING FANTASTIC’S EP, DEATH OF SUMMER, IS OUT NOW AND CAN BE DOWNLOADED FOR FREE FROM THEIR WEBSITE.