REVIEW: Trapkingkai – “Blax Jim Halpert”


Trapkingkai
Blax Jim Halpert

While I’ve been a pretty big fan and consumer of hip hop for most of my life, for whatever reason I’ve strayed away from the genre the last few months. That’s not to say that there haven’t been good hip hop releases, because there definitely have been in that time span. I just haven’t connected with any on a personal level. That is until the latest EP from Trapkinkai ended up in our inbox, it became the shot of hip hop adrenaline in my music-loving blood stream that I didn’t know that I needed.

Titled Blax Jim Halpert, his latest features five new songs, all very different as stand alone tracks, but unified with their subtle references to The Office. Produced by La Tray & Homage Beatz, each beat has it’s own unique identity. The EP opens with “Selling (Jim)” which leans on a chilled out, low key rhythm that sounds like something RZA would have done on one of those Bobby Digital records. Considering that he’s probably my favorite beat-maker, it’s easy to see why this is my favorite track, as Trapkingkai provides plenty of clever, braggadocios lines with his trademark slackjawed delivery. He brings a charisma to the table that is hard to describe — his flow isn’t acrobatic or flashy, but his cadence is magnetizing. Maybe it’s the sense that he’s got such a genuine touch behind every line. It’s like he repeatedly says on this song: “I’m really selling”.

Another track I really like is “At Least I Tried (Pam)”, a smooth number that uses the Pam/Jim relationship as a template for one of his own personal experiences. It’s dangerously close to being corny, but it ends up being a really nice, relatable narrative about a special friend that you want more from, but he or she is hesitant to engage in your romantic advances. At least that’s how I took it. Meanwhile, the beat adds a sense of longing, unfulfilled passion that really does it for me. 

After listening to this EP from front to back no less than ten times over the last 2 days, I’ve felt a slight shift in my musical urges. While it never fully left, hip hop has officially made it’s way back into my main rotation. It’s as if Trapkingkai is that wizard that brings Conan the Barbarian back to life in the desert — I’m Conan, resurrected, anxiously ready to get back to fighting Thulsa Doom (rap music). Maybe it’s because it’s so fresh and new, or perhaps it’s just that good, but this might be my favorite hip hop release from Louisville from 2018. Highly recommended.

Listen to Blax Jim Halpert in it’s entirety via Bandcamp below:

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