Minnesota rapper/singer/producer Allan Kingdom turned 22 today. Rather than look for a handout or a mountain of praise and well wishes, he decided instead to release his highly anticipated sophomore album, Northern Lights.
After releasing his debut Future Memoirs back in 2014, the St. Paul artist toured the country with The Stand4rd (made up of Kingdom, Corbin, Psymun, and Bobby Raps), he found his way alongside Kanye West on "All Day", he released a documentary through The Fader, and he worked with plenty of Midwestern talents like WebsterX and Trapo. I remember when Kingdom performed for the first time in Chicago at a North Coast Music Festival after party courtesy of Closed Sessions. Shortly after that show, I saw him at Reggie's Rock Club in Chicago performing as The Stand4rd to a sold out (and screaming) crowd.
Now, with Northern Lights, we get a return to the solo work of Kingdom. Producing half of his own album alongside Plain Pat, Ryan Olson (of Gayngs), Jared Evan, and others, the album is one to soundtrack the beginning of your calendar year, when the Midwest remains frozen and warm, inviting songs are necessary. Buzzing Virginia talent D.R.A.M. makes an appearance, as does Brooklyn group Gloss Gang.
I can't wait to jump into Northern Lights, a proper and selfless birthday gift from Allan Kingdom to his fans both new and old. I don't think any of these songs have been released. He premiered "Renovate" with D.R.A.M. on Minnesota hip-hop station 95.3 Go Radio with DJ Peter Parker. His last few singles ("Take It", "Keep it Easy", and "Blast") were released throughout the past year, but it looks like none of these made the cut for the album. This keeps it completely unreleased and exclusive. Look for a lengthier review on this album via TheseDays once we've properly digested it.
While it's also available on SoundCloud, you can head over to allan-kindgom.com to download it for free via Mediafire.