Elusive rapper Leek Lone is back with nomadchildren., his second release of the year, a collection of sketches and fragments that show the artist in his usual contemplative state.
“kingme.” is one of the album’s highlights, showcasing the sense of weary optimism that Leek brings to his strongest tracks. The instrumental (produced by sum duke) is subdued, featuring chopped piano chords layered over a faded breakbeat and subsonic scrapes of bass, matching Leek’s muted sing-song delivery when he warns, “Keep then snakes and demons outside of the kingdom.” Despite the danger, Leek is confident; you can hear the defiance in his voice when he proclaims, “You gonna king me in my kingdom!” As is usually the case, though, Leek watches the world around him warily, holding on to early memories (his mom “on a tightrope” to make ends meet, washing clothes in a bathtub) as totems of life’s essential callousness. He even advises his potential audience, “Don’t play my shit if you ain’t really trying to listen,” because he can tell the difference between those skimming the surface and those digging for deeper meaning. Uncompromising as always (remember, this is a man who once scrapped an entire mixtape because it wasn’t good enough), Leek doesn’t want your attention unless it’s your full attention. With “kingme.” and with nomadchildren. as a whole, he’s got it.