As he prepares for the release of his 2nd studio album, Exactly How We Planned, King Naj gives us a snippet of it with the release of his single “Sleepless in Seattle”. Once again, I’m impressed with King Naj’s constant elevation of style, wordplay, and depth in his music. He takes us into the classic boutique section of lo-fi hip-hop and gives us a track full of retrospection, wisdom, and motivation.
King Naj has really been finding a groove in his artistry, from dropping his first full project While You Wait in 2022 to performing in Charleston, Columbia, and currently Seattle. Most of his music is a culmination of his thoughts, life events, and desires, filtered through his unique voice, delivery, and alternative rap style. But I also like the balance between streams of consciousness and the competitive edge of ‘talkin’ that sh**’– word to Abstract.
“Sleepless in Seattle” serves as an example of what’s to come with King Naj’s upcoming EP Exactly How We Planned. He makes it clear that although he is living in Seattle, he is still and will always be, Charleston bred. King Naj asserts himself with 3 minutes of lyrical displays showing love to Charleston from Seattle and letting the world know that he is still mastering his craft.
King Naj’s voice gives me feels of Shyne from Bad Boy, with the slide of Westside Gunn. No hook, just a steady stream of King Naj’s bold and inspiring lyricism, on a sleepless night in Seattle.
One of my favorite verses that I feel summarizes the framework of the concept is “You know I had to get my sister tapped in/BDMR on top of all our constituents / shout out my man Naughledge and the Geechie Gang / we of the same mind, we want the same thang / presenting awards for RnB divas, Ferrari two-seaters and Hollywood features / life’s a b**** depending how you treat her / you could be singing on the street with nothing more than a loud speaker / real spit, s*** can flip bad, real quick / I’m real focused, I ain’t never on my last trick..”
If “Sleepless in Seattle” is any indication of what we can expect from King Naj as we transition into the second half of 2023, we have a lot to look forward to!