Crown Me King, the latest mixtape from Sacramento, CA rapper Chuuwee, is a follow-up to his Watching The Throne EP which dropped last year. The project can be considered as an eager prince vying for control of the so-called Throne propped up by Kanye West and Jay-Z last year. The problem, however, does not deal with the capabilities of the prince, but rather his personal vices.
Chuuwee has impeccable songwriting skills. He can pen expansive verses, full of technical intricacy and occasional wit, that sound quite elaborate. In tandem with the lyrics is his ability to spit such multisyllabic chatter while regulating his breathing and providing emotional versatility in his voice. He also picks solid producers to work with, such as ENG, who provide some creamy sample-based beats that fit him perfectly. A major problem belies the project, however- the mixing, which sucks. If Chuuwee couldn’t compel lyrically, most people would not strain to hear his buried vocals.
And yet, while the mixtape succeeds structurally, the content of his lyrics leave a disconcerting feel. “Scribe,” arguably the best “song” on Crown Me King, is the sole reason for that doubt. On the spoken word piece, a disgruntled Chuuwee details how the jaded response towards his artistic efforts has left him angry and frustrated. To him, the people who should support his music the most dismiss his passion, like a parent disappointed in their child for becoming a painter instead of a doctor. Chuuwee then rants on about routine insanity, which he defines as “doing the same shit over and over and expecting different results.”
The entire piece has a grave seriousness despite coming from such a young guy. Chuuwee has the passion and the know-how to go places, and that clearly comes through on the song. But when he’s actually performing a rhyme, he can also get caught in “routine insanity,” as he totes a brash, at times annoyingly immature, male chauvinist, budda connoisseur, fuck-y’all-get-money mentality.
One of the more nitpicky gripes deals with the hooks. While he can produce some gripping intermissions like on “Keep It Real,” where he sounds like a nascent Method Man, some feel so thrown together. He ruins the previous verse on “Rule The World” with his horrid off-key singing, and literally says “this how the chorus go and fuck you if you don’t like it” on “Smoke One For Doom” before doling out a floppy excuse for a hook.
It seems that the reason why certain people refrain from openly embracing Chuuwee’s music deals with the odd mix between professional tact and juvenile tendencies that he holds so near and dear. His music, including Crown Me King, is equivalent to an unearthed diamond: it may be rare and have great potential, but the true value comes from an artisan perfectly sculpting and polishing it into form. No one considers raw diamond worthy for a ring, and Chuuwee’s art, while worthy on the surface and deserving of a couple of listens, leaves a bit to be desired as a whole.