Naming yourself after one of history’s most notable kings is an ambitious first step, particularly when entering into the world of music, but Temi Babayemi, the 20-year-old rapper who has taken on the moniker might just be able to make it work.
A native of the US who moved across the Atlantic and made the UK his home, King Solomon’s sound was built upon the likes of Lecrae, Chance the Rapper, NF, Tauren Wells, and Travis Greene. A young talent with a wealth of potential, ‘Illuminate the Dark’ is his debut album and first major foray into music, and while there is inarguably some room for improvement, it’s a release that could well lead to a brightly lit future.
A complex release, ‘Illuminate The Dark’ is, in the artist’s own words, “An honest look into faith and spirituality from the approach of a prodigal outsider coming back in.”, but in reality, it’s much more than that. It’s an album that brings together thirteen distinct tracks into one compelling narrative, charting the journey of a wayward Christian attempting to make his way home and rekindle his relationship with God. It’s a raw account of the personal inward journey that many of us will encounter in our lives, where the most abstract concepts are distilled into emotive musical cuts.
Musically, it’s easy to see King Solomon’s talent. His lyrics and his flow are progressive, yet unpolished, detailing the story in a vivid way that fits his fresh, and yet to be refined style. The beats and instrumentals match his blossoming style of delivery, with the album assembled like a fine balance of highs and lows, dark atmospherics and incandescent anthems, sensational theories and painful realities.
Although the impact of the album is beaten down somewhat by the production, or lack thereof, it’s easy to see the light through the dark. As an album alone, ‘Illuminate The Dark’ is a segmented success, but as a debut, it becomes elevated to a troubled, but terrific triumph.
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