System Of A Down’s bassist Shavo Odadjian recently debuted his emerging trio collective North Kingsley’s latest single and its accompanying music video, “Die For The Pic.” North Kingsley’s latest 3-track EP entitled Vol. 1, via 22 Red Media, was released this past Friday, August 14. North Kingsley are a musical dichotomy, one equal part metal and one equal part hip hop fusing the genres seamlessly.
The collaborative effort that is North Kingsley is comprised of bassist Odadjian, frontman lyricist/vocalist Ray Hawthorne and producer Saro Paparian. As previously reported on Blabbermouth, “Capitalizing on a musical legacy that includes musical collaborations with the likes of funk master George Clinton, spiritual hip-hop guru RZA and legendary production accomplice Rick Rubin, Odadjian’s sonic blueprint for his new project takes in everything from crisp and hard trap beats to gritty rock flavors.” Meeting somewhere in the middle of the aforementioned musical genres, North Kingsley is somewhat of a second coming of the highly esteemed Glendale, California-based heavy metal collective, System Of A Down.
North Kingsley’s latest heavy hitting banger “Die For The Pic” analyzes a myriad of current social issues relating to how people react to them on social media. Similarly heavy politically charged issues have been waged with SOAD’s music, but North Kingsley adds different musical flavors. The track opens with striking stripped back bass strings courtesy of Odadjian and sampled background Armenian vocal harmonies that mirror vocals that could be found on a System Of A Down track. New Jersey native Hawthorne comes with a lyrical onslaught that cuts like a samurai sword (think the penmanship of members of Wu-Tang and the vocal stylings of an EL-P, Eminem or Mike Shinoda). The video juxtaposes images of protests and social unrest with superficial images of people posing for an Instagram photo or how they disseminate information. To listen to “Die For The Pic” stream below, via YouTube.
According to the above mentioned Theprp source, Hawthorne spoke on the all-encompassing message behind “Die For The Pic,” saying:
“‘Die For The Pic’ is a statement on modern hypocrisy. The masses are tending to follow popular trends without taking the time to analyze what’s actually going on. People often agree with whatever they are told the correct way to think is, and then post about it online, in an effort to be perceived well by their peers.”
Producer Paparian spoke on the collaboration with Odadjian, saying:
“I’m very proud of that fact that Shavo and I could find a place to leverage a bit of our people’s history and culture in our tracks. ‘Die For The Pic’ has vocal samples cut from an a capella of a song from Palu, a village in Western Armenia. Means a lot personally since my great-grandfather was born in Palu….We almost lost those songs- it’s almost by sheer luck that it not only survived but that it found a place in North Kingsley’s music.”
North Kingsley previously released their single “Like That” earlier this month.
Photo credit: Mauricio Alvarado