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Monday, May 18, 2015

[Shelved Classics] KING TEE - "Thy Kingdom Come"

King Tee is one of the truly legendary veteran emcees of the West. The Compton born emcee first made his mark on the hip hop scene back in 1987 with a slew of popping 12":s which was followed by two critically acclaimed LP:s "Act A Fool" (1988) and "At Your Own Risk" (1990) mainly produced by DJ Pooh. His final album on Capitol in 1992, "Tha Triflin' Album" featured production and cameos from the likes of Marley Marl, Alladin and SLJ, Ice Cube, DJ Pooh and his new pet project Tha Alkaholiks. The latter was a trio consisting of young talents from California consisting of Tash, J-Ro and E-Swift and would go on to great success in their own right. King Tee oversaw the creationn of their '93 debut "21 & Over" and made guest apperances on several songs and the success was a fact. At this point there were no question that King Tee was one of the biggest underground stars of the West Coast and it's not suprising that Dr. Dre, the undisputed top producer of the West, wanted King Tee with him when he left Death Row to form his own Aftermath label under Interscope in '96.

"Thy Kingdom Come" was supposed to drop in early 1998 and was to be the third release on The Aftermath imprint, following the "Dr. Dre Presents Aftermath" (which featured Tee's solo debut on the label,with the rewind worthy "Str8 Gone", a great execise in rhyming built up around a ticking clock, making it somewhat of a loose comncept track). spat over a booming cut from Stu-B-Doo,. This was followed the year later with the New York supergroup The Firm that Dr. Dre and The Trackmasters, but on the songs Dre is credited for there's no question that he does a great job for 80% of the album, and when he's not making beats he is inviting his newly formed Philadelphia based production team to work out of his new studio A Toufh Of Jazz in PA. This LP could definitely have been a somewhat underraterd Shady release by today but as time have passed I have a feeling this will be the illest. amd most high√§√§powered hardcore shit to really set it apart from most releases out there. Judging by the two aforementioned projects, critical success and all that, and the quality of The King Tee album once fans got to hear it years after its originally intended release date. 

90s singles like "Zoom" and "Keep Their Hands Ringing"
inging" it was evident that Dr- Dre was striving to find a new sound for the nine-pound, tp find mew sound for his Aftermath stable . as trying to find a new vibe to build his new house on - leaving the G-Funk formula that had been the patented trademark of his Death Row.  Death Row in favor for a style that would define Aftermath. It wasn't until Eminem's "The Slim Shady LP" and Dr. Dre's "2001", both releaed in 1999that he truly would find a new formula that was strong enough to truly catapult the label and its new artists to the top of the game. This left pretty much the entire original Aftermath roster, as heard on "Dr. Dre Presents..." (1996), caught up in between seats and eventually dropped. This also included the mostly Pitsburgh, Pennsylvania based production team that Dre had assembled for his new label which included Stu-B-Doo, Glove, and Bud'da. So while King Tee's album was just about completed, Dre didn't feel that the project was strong enough and that it needed more work. Tee on the other hand felt that he had just completed his best work yet, and felt that Dre was trying to hold him back as he revealed in an interview with HipHopDX. "I let my ego and my pride get in the way. Yeah, I sat up and listened to mothafuckas talk about how you'll get shelved fuckin' with Dre. I was a lil' impatient. Like you said, I had an album done. I thought it was the best album I had ever made. The only thing was, no, it was good. He said it wasn't done. He felt it wasn't done. I should have sat back and let him work..." (King Tee, HipHopDX, 2013). Despite this album samplers and an advance copy of the album was sent out to DJ:s and magazines, receiving a 3.5 rating in The Source, and given a release date of August 28, 1998. This of course meant that the album was pulled at the very last minute, leaving King Tee's legacy at Aftermath to be two apperances on the original '96 compilation, a 12" single and an apperance on "2001".

Luckily for fans, King Tee was either free to most of his masters or the album was bootlegged as the full album appeared on a small German label called Mo Beatz Records! in 2002. It did however miss a few songs that definitely was intended to appear on the initial Aftermath release in '98 as they were featured on various samplers and advance copies. The Bud'da produced "Got It Locked" was even released as the lead single for the album and even had a music video made for it, and is indeed one of the stronger tracks on the LP. "That's Drama" is another banger that sees Tee speak on some ill situations common in the rougher areas of the Wes over a thick Chris "The Glove" Taylor production. A track that appeared in snippet format on the cassette single of "Got It Locked" was titled "I Don't Wanna Die" (which later appeared on the "Blood is Thicker Than Water" soundtrack) and there was also a short Dre produced skit called "Psychic Pimp Hotline", which remained unreleased until The D.O.C. picked it up for his 2008 release "Deuce". All of these songs have been restored to the version of the album that I present y'all with below while I have cut out "Nuthin' Has Changed" and "The Original" which to my knowledge was not part of the original album. So is "Thy Kingdom Come" a lost classic, or was it a wise decision by Dre and Interscope to shelve the album? Personally I think it's a pretty damn crazy album, especially with the lost tracks reinserted, and while it's no masterpiece I'd say it is a stronger look for Aftermath than either The Firm album or the Dr. Dre Presents compilation. King Tee brings a lot of flavor to these tracks and it's really well produced for the most part, though it could lose some filler. Since it was a bootleg release I have no qualms about putting this up for download for free so enjoy y'all! Enjoy this GANGSTA SHIT Y'ALL... and don't forget to TURN IT UP!

01. "Intro" (Ft. Ice-T)
02. "Speak On it"
03. "Stay Down"
04. "Squeeze Your Ballz"
05. "Money" (Ft. Dr. Dre)
06. "The Cron"
07. "Psychic Pimp Hotline"
08. "Big Boys" (Ft. Too $hort)
09. "Let's Make A 'V'" (Ft. DJ Quik, Frost & El DeBarge)
10. "The Game (It's Ruff)"
11. "Real Raw" (Ft. Killer Ben)
12. "Got It Locked" (Ft. Dr. Dre)
13. "2 G's From Compton" (Ft. MC Ren)
14. "Shake The Spot" (Ft. Shaquille O'Neal)
15. "6 In Da Morning" (Ft. Dawn Robinson)
16. "That's Drama"
17. "Step On By" (Ft. Dr. Dre, RC & Crystal)
18. "Big Ballin' (Playin' to Win)" (Ft. RC)
19. "Where's T" (Ft. Dr. Dre)
20. "I Don't Wanna Die"[* Bonus Tracks *]



  1. Lots of bangers on there from an assortment of west-coast beat-smiths, but was missing the final lick of paint from Dre coz Eminem came along.

    ''Dre liked it and was into it. We shot some videos, planned on some singles and things like that, but then he sat me down and told me it wasn’t ready. My ego was like, “God damn, Dre always do this with artists.” But when I think about it today and listen to it, yeah, the shit was banging, but he was right. That’s why every time he puts out something, it’s slamming. I should have just sat my ass down and just listened and learned.'' - King Tee

  2. The promo cassette has been listed on Discogs, one of a kind!