I didn’t ask questions when this little year-old number from an unknown hip hop artist in the Midwest (with amazing connections) stumbled into the Pulse office. After giving it a listen, and seeing who the collaborators were, I figured, Whatever.
A lot of random-anybody hip hop recordings merit little more than a “This is hip hop; that’s all there is to say,” and King’s The Teacher isn’t a groundbreaking record by any means; in fact, it’s the opposite, rooted in ’90s hip hop. But it must be said that 1) this Indiana artist uses some interesting samples (plucky unexpected sounds, lines from “A Few Good Men”), and 2) he brought some interesting guests on board.
After working on the album for five years and naming it after his aspiration to role model, King released The Teacher in late 2010. Handled by the hands of experience, the record is a collection of 14 intense and pronounced tracks that aren’t short on rhythmic variety (though sometimes a little too busy, like “I Be In Indiana”) and feature a ’90s hip hop treasure trove.
Those aforementioned weird samples come in on tracks like “Movement Matters,” which features Wu-Tang’s Killah Priest, “Shut It Down” and “In the Summertime.” Opener “Rollin Midwest” was produced by 2LiveCrew’s Mr. Mixx, and Digable Planets’ Doodlebug makes an appearance on “The Commercial.”
The Teacher is filled with Names, but that’s the album’s insurance and the attraction for those who may be inclined to pass up a hip hop record with the presumption that it will be another of the lackluster, obnoxious endeavors already out there. King is above that with non-idiotic lyrics, a good voice and better beats.