When the Texas rap scene finally got their recognition in the mid 2000s after years of hard work, unity and dedication. One rapper that didn’t have a chance to really blow up like his peers was homegrown Houston Rapper Trae The Truth. Trae is a certified 15 year veteran whom been laying down poignant street scriptures throughout his albums about conflict with spirituality, the street life of H-Town, The struggle and motivation to turning nothing into something found himself developing a cult following.
Even though he doesn’t have the Soundscan numbers to prove that he’s a heavyweight in the mainstream field, It’s clear that with the guest appearances over the years on his album that Trae is HIGHLY RESPECTED throughout the game. Even though he’s very far from an Industry guy, His albums have caught notice within many of the players and they wanted to work with the H-Town legend. Things would elevate for the betterment of Trae’s career when he signed with T.I’s Grand Hustle in 2011 but not all the glitters were gold in Trae’s life.
He fell out with long time collab/Cousin Z-Ro due to repetitive incarcerations , His brother Money Clip D was murdered years ago which you can tell pains Trae to this day. These events inspired possibly his most personal album to date.
Street Miracle is one of the songs on I AM King where Trae reflects on the mistakes he made during the street life and explains how Karma could possibly catch up with him.Tracks such as Shit Crazy and Dark Angel are Trae’s personal Retrospective songs that helped him gain a cult following and why he’s so respected amongst his peers. It’s that honesty and realism that he expresses throughout is what makes his music soul touching like that of Pac and Scarface:
I Am King comes across as an admiration for Trae the Truth’s work for 15 years. This is possibly the most star-studded guest list I’ve ever seen for a mixtape and for an Indie artist. Krayzie Bone appears on Stay Trill which samples elements of the classic Bone Thugs record “Mr Bone Collector” and Leatherface shows why he’s one of the most underrated rappers out today.
Hold Up comes across as a street banger which features classic P-Diddy adlibs along with solid verses from Jeezy and T.I.. Many don’t like hearing Trae over trap beats but this track bangs here heavily! Ride With Me featuring Meek Mill and T.I. along with Hallelujah follow that same element of trap heavy music so it would surely keep the streets happy.
Out of all the collaborations here, My personal favorite is the one featuring Snoop Dogg and Baby Houston titled Old School where they profess their love for Car Culture. This track has Snoop Dogg going back to that classic Snoop Dogg sound that many people have missed over the years.
Some of the collaborations on here miss the mark. Fucked up(Which features Lil Reese), 1 Up(Which features a bizarre collab with Wiz Khalifa and Jadakiss) and Ugly Truth(Featuring BOB) are just some of the minor mishaps. A feature from some of the H-town rappers such as Scarface, Devin the Dude, Bun B, or even a unreleased Z-Ro cut would have done wonders here.
Overall I Am King is still Trae The Truth being true to himself and his craft.The Industry may have finally embraced Trae but that doesn’t mean he changed. He still had alot of his street scriptures to spread throughout, Hopefully this time the masses will wake up and finally listen.
Vic Rating: 8.5 outta 10