(Editor’s Note: Because this album was meant for release in 1998, no “@” rating will be attributed, for it would be unfair to measure this up to the music of today.)
In 1998, I was hyped, because not only was Xzibit dropping a new album (40 Days & 40 Nights), but sharing the same release date was fellow Alkaholik King T, who would make his AfterMath debut with Thy Kingdome Come. With rumors of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic 2 simmering, and after a disappointing Dr. Dre Presents The Aftermath compilation, not to mention The Firm flop, Thy Kingdom Come was set to be the first official Aftermath release. I was lucky enough to score an advance copy of the album on cassette from a friend at Interscope who made his way into Vegas, and I quickly went home an spent over an hour encoding it to a full-length CD for my enjoyment (I did not give a copy to anyone). I remember listening to this album, and absolutely loving it, thinking to myself, this is going to do it. This album would put Dr. Dre back on the map and show Death Row he could do it without them. A few weeks later, we ran back to back reviews on HipHopSite for Xzibit and King Tee, on the weekend before both albums were set to drop (at least according to The Krib – R.I.P.). And then finally the release date approached – and then – nothing.
As to why Dr. Dre decided to put King T’s album in the vault, never to be heard again, will forever remain a mystery, (ask Hittman, Knoc-Turn’al, Last Emperor, or Eve - maybe they know), because this was one slammin’ piece of work. Some say that a poor Sauce Magazine review doomed this album before it made its way to store shelves, while others speculate that Aftermath’s focus was turned to Eminem with the ensuing national-buzz on his own leaked singles”Just Don’t Give A Fuck”, ”My Name Is” and “Guilty Conscience”. Whatever the case is, bottom line is that King T had an incredible album that got shelved, and nobody knows the real reason why.
But the new mystery is its resurfacing. In the middle of last year, King Tipsy-Off-The-Whisky’s album began appearing at Amazon.Com and CDNow as an import, under a label called Mo Beatz Records / ZYX Music, based in Germany, no less. We soon followed suit, tracking down this mysterious release, and didn’t get quite what we expected. While it had finally found its way out, the packaging on this release is poorly done and the cover-art is horrible, mislabeled as THE Kingdom Come, rather than THY Kingdom Come. Still, we can’t be too mad, because it’s finally out in the streets (of Germany).
This is almost the album that I bumped to death almost five years ago, however, there are some notable changes. First off, it is missing two tracks, the lead single “Got It Locked”, as well as “That’s Drama”, not to mention the skits which bridged the album together (who could forget the “Drive By Game” or “Psychic Pimp Hotline” – obviously D.O.C. couldn’t, check his new album for their re-use). What we get instead of the missing skits and two tracks are a whopping six never-heard-before tracks, which we’re not on my original Interscope advance. Although, it is easy to see why, as these last few aren’t up to par with the rest of the album. The good Doctor did the right thing by not letting the syrupy “Step On By”, “Who’s Who”, or “Big Ballin’” make the original advance. Meanwhile, “6 In The Mornin” is a not an Ice-T cover, but instead King Tee’s take on the Dr. Dre / LL Cool J collabo “Zoom”, here featuring added vocals from Dawn Robinson. The only real gem that could have fit with the rest of this album is truly “Where’s T” sporting excellent Dre production; however the other new track, “Nothing Has Changed” featured the odd match-up of King T, plus Kool G Rap and Tray Dee which is as strange as the beat itself.
But let’s not forget about what made this album great. Despite the fact that it doesn’t play through as it was originally intended, thanks to the missing tracks and skits, there is still plenty of Grade-A material here that never got a chance to go platinum. The beautifully smooth “Stay Down” was a masterwork from King Tee, Dre, and Bud’da, not to mention the cool-ass sounds of back-to-back Dre joints “Da Kron” and “Monay” – this was classic material. Even the corny party jams that were so essential in the Bad Boy ruled 1997 were wonderful, such as the DJ Quik produced “Let’s Make A V” (even if it went over the top when Kid Frost steps in), or the proud Cali anthems such as “Shake The Spot” (feat. Shaquille O’Neal) or “2 G’s From Compton” (feat. MC Ren) could have easily rocked the club, if they were only given the chance. Speaking of which, let’s not forget perhaps the greatest Battlecat track ever, “Squeeze Yo Ballz”, a brilliantly funky sample collage, damn this was good. Under Dre’s supervision, even tracks like “Big Boyz” (feat. Too Short; prod. Ant Banks) and “Tha Game” (prod. Battlecat) seemed incredibly fresh when looking at the whole package. But who would ever know it?
While this version doesn’t play through as flawlessly as my original Interscope advance (rated on the site @@@@ in 1997), at least we can finally say it’s out there and heads now have a chance to hear it (sans the skits and two tracks). As to how this release made out the vaults and into Germany – the only theory we have is that King T, or someone very close to him – sold ZYX the master, as this album also includes the tracks that we’re not used on the finished advance, not to mention full production credits (which even my Interscope tape didn’t have). Whatever the case may be, it’s finally out there, and heads can finally get a chance to hear what it might have sounded like if King T’s Thy Kingdom Come was Aftermath’s first solo project.
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