Allan Kingdom has disrupted and enhanced the Minnesota hip-hop scene with his style, his bars, and his energetic performances.
Over the past six years, he has shown incredible growth with every new recording, and some high-profile collaborations with Kanye West, the Stand4rd, Flume, and P.O.S.
In anticipation for his Friday release of his latest album, Lines, we went back and listened to his catalog.
Trucker Music (2011)
Allan Kingdom’s first project, Trucker Music, is filled with crafty electronic production, repetitive lines, and unique vocals.
His first track “90’s Kid” is a true introduction to the St. Paul hip-hop star’s style. Right off the rip he chants his own name so you can’t forget who you’re listening to, and he spits fun lines that make you think, like “That’s why your girl’s trying to spoon us, we’re super.” Then, while closing out the track, he marks the beginning of his musical journey with confidence by singing, “You don’t even know how far I’ve come, you don’t even know how far I’ll go.”
His individuality is carried into every track including “Ay Caramba,” where he talks about how he stunts in his trucker hat. Then, continuing on a fashion note, Allan also pays homage to secondhand shopping even before Macklemore in “Thrift.” “Thrift” also shows Kingdom’s history with Minneapolis emcee Finding Novyon.
Throughout every track, Kingdom swiftly changes up his flow. He goes from sweet, sprinkled-with-falsetto singing to rapping with purpose and asking urgent hypothetical questions in his skits.
Talk to Strangers (2013)
Allan kicks off Talk to Strangers with a more chilled demeanor. In the combined visual for “The Dwelling” and “Good Problems.” we hear less-cluttered sounds and get a taste of his swag. His first outfit in the visual includes a baggy polo tucked into skinny jeans, then in the second half Kingdom rocks a grill, a white button-up shirt, and a matching newsboy hat.
Honesty is embedded in several songs in this project. In the chorus of “Mediocre.” he raps about still living at home and always feeling mediocre. In “I Should Be a Pusha” he talks about about how he could probably be bringing in more money in for him and his family if he chose fast money over rap money.
In one of his final tracks, “Wimme,” he sets an atmospheric tone with funky production and his distinct pronunciation of the rhymes he runs through in the chorus. His first verse oozes with personality as he delivers substantial lines like, “His pants sag from the weight of the world.”
Future Memoirs (2014)
In Future Memoirs, Allan truly defines his Kingdom. Within the mixtape he seems to find the perfect ratio of chaotic sounds blended with steady, easy-to-move-to beats.
He shows confidence in his experimental sound, which can be illustrated through longer bouts of falsetto in songs like the Corbin-assisted “Wavey.” Wavey is a strong sampling of the music that was to come from Kingdom’s collaboration with the local collective The Stand4rd, who have racked up millions of plays on SoundCloud.
Kingdom calls out “Imposters” in a similar style to his song “Pirate” off of his first tape. In a sense, “Evergreens” also echoes “90’s Kid” off of his first project. In “Evergreens,” Allan Kingdom uses the first 30 seconds to introduce himself and all his aliases, including Peanut Butter Prince, King Kyariga, and The Northern Gentleman.
A more refined sound probably came with hard work, and having the project produced exclusively by Plain Pat, DJ Kasloco and Allan.
Northern Lights (2016)
His quirk shines with the help of his eclectic guests on Northern Lights, including D.R.A.M., Jamaican reggae artist Chronixx, and New York-based Jared Evan and Gloss Gang.
Kingdom’s down-to-earth attitude is portrayed right away in the first track, “The Ride.” The chorus line goes “‘Ye told me drive slow, but ain’t nobody say homie fly low,” hinting at Allan finding some middle ground after his success, yet still staying on the radar. In the visual for the song, he goes around the Twin Cities in a hot air balloon and fancy red Porsche, but also makes time for a friends and a food-filled family gathering.
The same idea is visited in the dynamic track “Renovate.” On it D.R.A.M. exclaims, “I’ll be right here forever, and I’m changing my number on my cellular,” an action that Kingdom has also taken. The song dealing with newfound fame is surprisingly relatable, as Allan raps about keeping his stamina and leaving fake people in his life behind.
To kick off the New Year Allan released his “Minnesota (Remix),” his creative take on Lil Yachty’s viral track.
Then, last month he released his first single off Lines called “Know About It.” The visual begins with Allan floating, while rocking snowflake print from head-to-toe. In the track, he raps about traveling and staying on his grind to ultimately get out of middle class.
Last week, British producer Cadenza, released their collaborative track “Vibes” from his SoundCloud. The track sets a positive mood, and stays true to the goal Kingdom told Pigeons and Planes he had for this track. Allan explains the third track off Lines by saying, “When I made the song it was my first time meeting Cadenza and experiencing the energy and nightlife out in London on my own. I hope everyone feels the same vibes I do when we recorded it.”