The Lion King: Prince Metropolis Known Vs. Music

The first time I ever heard Prince Metropolis Known, he was rapping in the lion mane pictured above, a tawny shag so lustrous and coiled that it would make James Harden ask for grooming tips. The...
By    February 18, 2014

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The first time I ever heard Prince Metropolis Known, he was rapping in the lion mane pictured above, a tawny shag so lustrous and coiled that it would make James Harden ask for grooming tips. The video has since disappeared from YouTube, which is a shame because it’s only so often that you get to watch a guy drop an off-balance drunken style fusillade against wack rappers while dressed up like a cowardly creature from a Judy Garland classic.

To wit: the Lion is not cowardly. He comes with the co-sign, productions, and extraterrestrial aegis of the legendary Kool Keith. His mixtape, War Against Music, dropped on the Octagoned one’s Junkadelic imprint. It may be as bedlam as the original Bellevue refugee and that’s a good thing. I can’t tell if Metropolis is crazy like a fox, lion, or someone who forgets to take their Zoloft, but he’s always entertaining.

Like Kool Keith, natural rhyme schemes and regular brain flow don’t apply to the Lion. The next line is going to undoubtedly as weird as the one that preceded it. Song titles include “White Anal,” “Debonair,” “Jimmie Iovine (Antichrist)” and “Prince of Dubia (ft. Kool Keith).” Topics include the incineration of rappers who aren’t about the art, fucking Rosie Perez in the ass, and getting pregnant by your daughter’s man. It’s profane, partially insane, and  completely unlike anything you’ve heard save for men who wear capes and Based deities.

There’s a clear-cut sense of absurdity, but it’s not necessarily a joke. I wouldn’t call it serious either. It’s vicious in the tradition of hitting you with a flower. I’m unsure if Metropolis had the best strategy in the world to get me to write about him or the worst. Roughly twice a month, he’ll bomb my Twitter mentions with long rants about the inequities of the game, the phoniness of most rappers, and how serious he takes hip-hop and its culture. Maybe this comes off as strident, but maybe it’s also evidence of someone deeply passionate and deeply weird who values originality over the latest Drake-core clone. Maybe empathizing with a man in a lion suit makes me the crazy one.

Or maybe I just am pro-lion off the strength of an album description that reads: “Recorded in a Bronx based crack & hoes spaceship “War Against Music” is an unknown object of controversy…The Metropolis controversy #TMC. Keep away from Kids and co-workers, this is absolutely #NSFW.” I do know that it does the legacy of Kool Keith justice: it makes no sense when you try to explain it. Sometimes that’s a good thing.

 

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