Possibly the only hip hop album I purchased this year and certainly the only one I will endorse

Camu Tao
King of Hearts
Def Jux

Kids, I am not going to lie to you. I am not a head. My ears are not pounding the pavement, checking out the dope new beats that are emerging. I love Hip Hop, but I don’t know shit about hip hop. And pretty much since this winter when Diamond District dropped science, the hip hop game and me have been slashed up. There’s been some stuff, but over all, this year has not been a bright one for hip hop in my opinion. The best thing to come out has been EL-P’s wereallgonnaburninhellmegamixxx3 that dropped earlier this summer and was a crazy instrumental LP. And now, Def Jux is basically dead, but not without dropping their swan song.

Enter the late, great Camu Tao. Dude was pretty much loved by all the Def Juxies, making appearances on EL-P, Aesop Rock and Cage’s albums over the years (as well as Yakk Ballz, Weatherman, and all kinds of places). He was working on his own solo album while gaining love and buzz out of New York. Then the dude went and got cancer and died and that shit sucks. However, EL-P resurrected this gifted phoenix and has just released King of Hearts the one and only album that the world will ever get from this budding star.

Camu Tao is unlike any artist I have ever heard from the Def Jux world and his debut is one of their strongest releases in a really long time. It has the originality, hell fire, something to prove energy that made so much of that label’s initial output so fucking scary and amazing. Camu Tao is playful, filling ears with his unique sound. It’s sing-songy and kooky as shit. King of Hearts is probably less of an album and more of a kid, bug eyed in the candy store with a gold card. Camu twisted nobs, chucked beats, threw up crazy keyboard parts and just went to town all over it with his pitch twisted voice. The closest I have ever heard to Camu that I could use as a reference point is Busdriver, but Busdriver spits non-stop where Camu utilizes his voice to ascend space with his voice. He’s just as fun and hard partying, but in a really chilled out way.

We didn’t really get to know Camu Tao before he left this earth. The Def Jux crew definitely loved him and he sure was on deck to become their next blossoming act. He was a producer of tracks, a rapper and an original voice, unlike anyone the world had heard before. King of Hearts is bare in some places, but no less powerful. We’ll never get more from this kid, and the world is less of because of that. Get King of Hearts today. It will expand your mind, wet your aural palate and destroy your life. Like only the best music can.


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