Published Aug 19, 2014Boston's Slaine is a witty braggadocio rapper adept at misfit confessionals and amusing concepts, but he struggles to stand out amongst his peers; rappers like Celph Titled, Vinnie Paz and Slaine's fellow La Coka Nostra member Ill Bill all receive more attention covering the same ground. Still, he more than holds his own on this guest-heavy album.
The highlight is "Bobby Be Real," a cautionary tale on which Slaine and guests Tech N9ne and Madchild each relate the tragic details of crackhead Bobby over a catchy big band beat; runner-up is "Back Against the Wall" with Maroney and Rite Hook, as Slaine's tight delivery of his witty battle raps impresses on the g-funk beat. On "Dopehead," Slaine and Jaysaun adopt the role of dealers for another story about addiction and "Hip Hop Dummy" is a battle rap posse cut with Apathy and Bishop Lamont, the beat moving from minimal drum and bass to big and epic and back again. Slaine even gets biographical with "The Years" and "Children of the Revolution," the former a dedication to his dead homies and the latter a little bit Non Phixion-y and political with an appearance from Ill Bill.
But it's not all good. The raps on "The Most Dangerous Drug in the World," a concept song about the addictiveness of the vagina, sound freestyled compared to his smart writing on other songs, and the arena anthem hooks on "Dot Ave" and "Defiance" are commercial cheese. The King of Everything Else won't make the rapper a household name — or even rank him among his previously listed peers — but it is still an enjoyable album that will appeal especially to fans of punchline rap. (Suburban Noize)