As we’ve seen time and time again, hip hop’s greatest legacy can sometimes be the life it leads outside of the United States. There are times when these overseas releases are more true to the nature of the art than some of what you’d find on the domestic shelves. Another entry into this category is Kings From Queens, a new mixtape by France’s DJ Modesty, distributed by RahJaRu Productions.
The mixtape is an homage to Queens hip hop, but it doesn’t go for the simple approach of being an all-star compilation. Modesty’s effort is to showcase a mixture of up and comers along with a couple of veterans. This leads to some of the mixtape’s highlights, one being the sharp wordplay of Killa Sha and Large Professor on “From The Front Line.” It also forecasts one of the lower points of the album where Banana Clip P, Prodigy, shows a further deterioration of his skills with a blase guest verse on Mazaradi Fox’s “No Drama”. Although the run-of-the mill MC probably figured this was just another way to get lawyer fees.
Overall, Kings From Queens is a decent mixtape that can flow in your local barbershop despite those sore spots. The biggest flaw is that the album flails under such sub-par performances after starting out strong. I hope that Modesty is planning to make this a series to further push the envelope and get stronger efforts from the Q-borough.