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From Slaveships to Spaceships

From Slaveships to Spaceships, a 2009 release from Khingz is a Soufend gem of the Seattle hip-hop canon, and seriously, go listen to it right now on your streaming service of choice. It opens with a strong series of strings stabs, and a defiant definition of “The New Blaq.” Many songs here are meditations on the meanings of freedom, of blackness, and identity. The soul samples of “Reach In” channel the best Kanye production, and the verses throughout, the bared soul and sensitivity channel him, too. In 2009 this was one of 206UP’s albums of the year, and I’m not surprised. It’s a recent discovery for me and has quickly become one of my favorites of this whole summer, shaking my car speakers. The sexy-ass bass line on “Blaq Han Solo” will have you fantasizing about that girl you just want to eat nachos with, who you’ve been wanting to call, and just then, at the end of the song, it breaks into a phone call where Khingz is doing just that. Both Gabriel Teodros and Justo add some featured magic. There’s so much I love here: the rapid-fire spitting on “Hydroplanin,'” the reversed guitars on “Electric Tantra,” and the beat “Grillz, which is killer, but frankly, this whole record is off-the-charts good. I could itemize why every song is a banger, but really just go listen to it for yourself.

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