Review | REFMusic208, "KNGDM COME"

by Darius Mullin @iamdariusmullin

Idaho-based rapper REFMusic208 was kind enough to give us an early listen to his album, KNGDM COME

The artist has put together a full-length 15-track project that includes several dope features and promises to be a good listening experience. 

We’re excited to dive in and let you know what to expect!

New Wave
“I had to let go and I had to progress ‘cause the game’s done changed.”
REFmusic208 kicks off the album by chopping it up with a steady flow over a mellow beat. He establishes that although the game has changed, he’s going to “catch this wave” and change along with it. “New Wave” is one of those intro tracks that’s also a legitimate song in its own right.

Need A Blessing feat. Xay Hill
REFmusic208 recruits rising legend Xay Hill for a solid second song that calls on God for a blessing.
“Day after day after day after day I seek Your face only.”
“Need A Blessing” depicts two men that rely on God daily in every part of life. REF brings the bars and Hill sings the hook for a dynamic team-up.

Loyal feat. I-Von
“You’re faithful, I’m grateful, so at Your throne I bow.”
“Loyal” has a trap vibe, but worshipful themes as REF declares his intention to “stay loyal” to the One who’s been so good to him. The artist continues to expound upon how good God, the only one who is truly loyal, has been to him throughout his life.

No Compromise feat. Scott Simms
REFmusic208 declares that he won’t compromise his faith, despite the trials and tribulations that life throws his way. REF gets raw with the honesty about his spiritual struggles, and Scott Simms sings one of the best hooks on the project.
“Tryna keep a grip, I’m flippin’, gotta hold tight. Even when I think I’m trippin’ imma try to fight… No compromise.”

High and Low
Continuing with the theme of dependence on the Lord, the Sqwad Life rapper contemplates how he searches “high and low” for Him. The vibe of the song, to me, feels like a collision of trap and lo-fi, which makes for a very intriguing sound.
“Inspiration I draw from You. Your grace, Your love, I need you. Like a child I cling to you, my Lord.”

Gang Gang
Continuing with the lo-fi vibe, “Gang Gang” laments the violence that some hip-hop music has come to promote. The track serves as a mellow interlude between “High and Low” and “Where Did They Go.”

Where Did They Go
Ear-catching melodies give this track a spacey feel as REFmusic208 remembers his past and the people in it. The artist is prompted to wonder “where did they go?” as he considers the paths they’ve chosen since then.
“What happened to my crew, man?”

Your Love feat. Ruby Skyy
Ruby Skyy sings a catchy chorus over another vibey instrumental, this time driven by a keyboard track. REF also drops a couple hot sixteens on the verses, each of which brings with it a notable increase in energy. The emcee keeps things interesting with changing and engaging rhyme schemes throughout. The almost five-minute-long song is mostly occupied by Skyy’s melodies and harmonies, with REFMusic208 only chiming in for the two verses. However, this isn’t necessarily a criticism, as the chorus is very well done.

Long Way to Go feat. Bl1nded
REFmusic208 comes face-to-face with problem areas in his own life as he admits that he still has a “long way to go.” The song is short and sweet, and REF packs a lot of lyricism into one verse. My only complaint is that an effect on the vocals (particularly the hook) makes the recording sound like a lower quality than it probably actually is.

Grind feat. Xay Hill and KJ-52
REFmusic208 recruits two big features for “Grind,” the most recently released single from the album. The generic theme of “grinding” may be uninteresting to some and appealing to others, but regardless, the trio executes the track very well. The beat isn’t memorable, but the verses and hook are very well done. KJ-52 steals the show (unsurprisingly) and my only concern is that KJ and Xay may outshine REF on his own track.

Right Now feat. Young Noah and Zeno Suave
“[My] flesh is weaker than I thought, just knew I could manage, and now I stand here in this pain just hoping to bandage it.”
“Right Now” starts off with a powerful audio clip about spiritual warfare, followed by the hook. “I need You God, right now. I’m lost, I don’t know how.” My initial reaction to this song was that it was uninteresting, but as it progressed from verse to verse it grew on me. REFmusic208 and Young Noah’s lyrics are both vulnerable and tight, and their portrayal of spiritual struggles is vivid and honest. “[I’m] so sick of spittin’ in Your face and drivin’ in all these nails.”

Brush Off
The track begins with a manipulated vocal sample that just rubs me the wrong way for some reason. It’s uphill from there though, and REF displays some of the best bars on the project throughout the song. My only other complaint is that the mix could be better.
“You better believe that there’s no one like me. Created with purpose, a reason to be.”

All That Drama feat. K-Drama
The two emcees break down the struggle of balancing real life and music over a mellow beat. The sonic aspects of the song don’t stick out from the rest, but the topics discussed in the song are important and thought-provoking. Both artists affirm that reliance on God is key, and that it’s important to prioritize those you care about over your ministry. The song almost feels like an informative podcast with advice from two industry veterans.
“Family really is the number one ministry that God’s given me.”

Been Blessed feat. Rolli Water
“I been blessed with a lot of things”
“Been Blessed” has another of those almost lo-fi beats with some very interesting samples used. Rolli Water croons a simple but effective chorus and both artists drop verses. No particular details stick out about the song, and yet the overall vibe is one of the best on the project.
“Only put my trust in God alone, no substitute. That’s an absolute.”

Glidin’ feat. Plain James and Zeno Suave
The final song of KNGDM COME features three dope verses and a somewhat lackluster hook. REFmusic208, Plain James, and Zeno Suave close things out with fire bars, but the chorus is uninteresting and the doubling on the word “glidin’” sounds a little strange.


On the whole, the album is a very good listening experience, if a little long. 

There are a couple creative decisions that I don’t quite agree with (which I’ve mentioned throughout), but other than that I find few things to complain about. 

One thing that could potentially be improved is that none of the songs or bars really stick out in my memory – not that they’re boring, but there’s little there that holds my thoughts after I’m done listening. REF’s transparent tackling of real issues on several of his songs is a big plus. Additionally, beat and feature selection is very good.

My favorite tracks:

   1. Been Blessed
   2. No Compromise
   3. High and Low

'KNGDM Come' drops August 30, 2019. Make sure you give it a listen and let us know what you think!

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