This is merely speculation on my part, but if you were to hear that Kingdom was a little wound up while recording Dreama, then you could probably understand his frustrations. The US producer has been pushing an agenda that mostly draws from hip-hop, R&B and grime, as well as a love of otherworldly mysticism, for years now—long before a ton of "post-dubstep" pretenders started excavating a cappellas from Aaliyah and Cassie records. In short, one of the tropes that originally made Kingdom's music unique has now become cliché, and it's far from his fault.
What will always separate Kingdom's music though, is the way that he uses those R&B samples. With many current producers, you feel like the vocal snippets have been shoehorned in at the last minute for the sake of it (usually during a breakdown), but Kingdom's approach is far more hip-hop: either he'll find a hook, and base the song around it, or he'll treat a sampled a cappella like a guest verse (see last year's "Bust Broke," where the entire track gives way for a brief appearance by Faith Evans). On Dreama's lead track, the minimal, crooked "Let You No," he opts for the former, bringing a line from UK singer Sadie Ama's "Fallin'" further and further into the foreground until it's completely dominant.
Another key factor of Kingdom's music is his inventive take on rhythm ("Bust Broke" switched time signature and is nearly impossible to be mixed past the drop). It doesn't always hit the spot on Dreama—for every "Let You No," where the irregular bursts of 808 kicks add to the track's brittle, minimalist feel, there's a "Hood by Air Theme," where the stop-start chamber juke can begin to jar—but it keeps you on your toes. Dreama is a weird, experimental record by any standards—almost definitely the weirdest that Kingdom's released to date—but it's also full of soul and unfiltered expression; the sort of record that should be cherished in an age of copycats.
Buy Kingdom - Dreama EP at
Tracklist: Kingdom - Dreama EP A1 Let You Kno
A2 Stalker Ha
B2 Hood By Air Theme