Willie The Kid has been steadily releasing projects since the mid 2000's, but in the last couple years he's seen his profile raise considerably thanks collaborations with The Alchemist and some of The Alchemist's rap friends like Roc Marciano, Action Bronson, and Boldy James. His music has always carried a strong Wu Tang influence which makes sense since his older brother La The Darkman released one of the all time great Wu-Tang affiliate albums The Heist of the Century back in 1998, but recently he's added some versatility to his style, switching between his usual streetwise storytelling and a name-brand dropping high-class hustler/playboy style. While I prefer Willie's gritty street raps, the range he's displayed has been impressive and has me more excited than ever about his career. For his upcoming album with longtime Wu-Tang affiliate producer (and fellow Michigan native) Bronze Nazareth, it feels like he might be pulling it all together and creating a defining artistic work.
The lead single "The Guilt" is a not just a perfect example of Willie's ability to spin a tightly crafted street narrative, but gets right to the core of rap music's innate appeal. The song is less than 3 minutes long and Willie only rhymes for a minute, but what a minute it is. You don't need to watch the outstanding video to visualize the tragic events described in the song, but watching it puts into perspective all of the content and emotion that Willie is able to get across in a single verse. The soulful beat and perfect vocal sample enhance the song's emotional pull and make it the most powerful sub 3 minute song I've heard in a long while. Willie also leaked another killer song from the project featuring the incomparable Roc Marci entitled "Avalon" which you can hear over at Noisey.com. The Living Daylights drops on February 11 and should be one of the best rap albums of the first quarter. Get your pre-order on here.