“Queens get the money”. Nas once dropped this slogan over a sparse, drum-less Jay Electronica beat a few years ago, and if I know anything about TV residuals (and I don’t) Queens emcee Jus Daze’s recent stints on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon might back up that paean to the borough’s infamous hustle.
That appearance wasn’t some internet contest or a lark; Daze was one of a select few emcees chosen to participate in Fallon’s frequent freestyle rap segment, surely an easy bet considering how razor sharp he and the rest of the EODub regulars are at just straight up rapping. Years of honing his craft led him to a big national TV moment that most underground emcees, especially those in New York, would murder for, so naturally the logical thing to do would be to capitalize off the surge in interest with more material. Following the fall release of his debut album, Common Law, Jus Daze has dropped his first mixtape, The King of Queens, a project that dispels any thoughts that a TV appearance would stagnate his development as a rapper.
The King of Queens features some of the best rapping and production so far from any of Daze’s efforts, tastefully rapping over original productions, including snippets from his next project, and mixtape standbys. One of the most technical rappers in the NY underground, Daze had, in the past, fast-rapped or double-timed over entire tracks, a misstep that he has seemed to learn from as he instead serves each beat and his lyrics properly without treading into Talib Kweli “I’m just gonna ignore the beat, fam” territory. Production-wise, the tape is New York-as-hell. There are no tip-of-the-hats to southern production tropes, just a diverse sampling of east coast styles – dusty drums, spare piano motifs, slick blaxploitation orchestras, repeating 2-bar loops – that are orthodox without sounding stale. Nothing sounds cheap or half-assed on the tape, and the Queens spitter even stepped his lyrics up, which is definitely a good portent for things to come (particularly “Ignorant Sh*t”). If you’re a fan of authentic NY rap that doesn’t chase radio sounds or invest in stale retreads of the city’s past, this is def for you.
The King of Queens features guest verses from fellow EODub and Grindtime East Coast emcees Jess Jamez Figeuroa and Dutch Vega, as well as impressively solid production from Juice Beats, Eturnal, FTL, Flev, DJ Brown 13, and godAWFUL. - Taken from Christopher Alley via RapMusic.com