With tracks titles like “Post-Apocalyptic Request Box,” “Man Made,” “Miracle,” and “A Talk with Jesus,” it’s apparent that Copywrite is at a crossroads on “God Save the King,” personally and musically. Still recovering from the recent deaths of his mother, grandfather, and former MHz partner Camu Tao, Copywrite’s new musical outlook is ripe with tender emotion and an internal battle between the trappings of the hip-hop industry and his religion.
The album wavers between dark confessions, solemn subject matter, and a glimmer of reverence for a higher power. These divergent (and somewhat hypocritical) themes make Copywrite’s meditations full, dynamic, and realistic. What opens the album, “Post-Apocalyptic Request Box,” sets an interesting pitch for the project: the dark mood and master wordplay showcase a clever take on murderous transformation: Copywrite lyrically kills the old version of himself and tears his soul into distinct parts to move into a more religious realm. Personal transformation is treated self-critically and didactically, so while Copywrite is in some ways “preaching the gospel,” he is simultaneously confused about his own holiness.
Copywrite’s personalities battle throughout the project as he goes from rapping about fornicating with groupies in the studio to discussing the beauty of God’s creations. He makes references to this internalized hypocrisy on “A Talk with Jesus / Opium Prodigies,” with Poetiq Beetz looping Notorious B.I.G.’s famous “born sinner” line in the background. Tough lyrics anchored by an ominous chorus on “Man Made,” featuring Rockness Monstah, further prove that Copywrite’s darkest moments are his strongest; if for no other reason than the fit of sinister production to his weighted themes and vocal energy. This thought-provoking analysis explores the danger of things made by man and the purity of things made by God. Potent energy from the quick rhyming exchange between Copywrite and Tage Future on “Love” makes this an immediate head-nodder. And “G$K” rounds out the dark-production with lyrical mediations on the sins and stresses in hip-hop. The “Miracle” interlude reinterprets a classic Wu-Tang line from “Clan In Da Front,” and is a nice fusion of the two worlds. Where Copywrite dissects his own hypocrisy and confusion juxtaposed with gloomy production, the tracks are strong.
While there are a fair amount of hits on this project, with a track list as high as 17, there are also a number of misses. Those that fall into the latter category do so by either serving as fruitless repetition or by deviating entirely from the narrative lens. The RJD2-produced “Synesthesia” features the characteristic dark tone of the project, but suffers from a weak chorus. “White Democrats,” while lyrically strong, lacks in melodic structure. Other energetic tracks: “Workahol,” “Blue Ribbon,” and “Union Rights” all blend together into a stretch of directionless rhyming and boasting. The project could use some trimming to make it stronger.
The most interesting part of this album is the lingering feeling of confusion, as fans are left wondering who Copywrite is post-album, and what sound his next releases will carry. It’s apparent through this project, though, that he’s on a journey towards a defining sound…and right now the pits of confusion tend to be the brightest spots, as the dark tones and tormented thoughts bring about a striking honesty and vulnerability.
– Sandra Manzanares