This month’s album cover pick is the somewhat controversial cover of Slaine’s somewhat controversial album The King of Everything Else.
As I mention in my review of the album elsewhere In Septembers Vandala Magazine(page 13), Slaine is firing on all cylinders with this record and his ability at crafting dark narratives and soundscapes and peppering them with his well honed and gritty flow, has never been more impressive than on King.
The album cover seems to point directly to the album’s content: A king sits on his throne above a pool of degradation. Above the kingdom of Everything Else.
In Everything Else, prostitutes, porno mags, empty liquor bottles, bills in the form of audits and eviction notices, cash and drugs surround him. A pair of handcuffs hang haphazardly off his wrist. This is his kingdom and he gleefully observes its bounty and its goings on. There are kings of nice things. Of loyal subjects and great gardens and peaceful villages. There are kings of mighty countries and fearful nations.
And there is the king of everything else. The stuff most well adjusted, law abiding citizen don’t want anything to do with.
This self destructive king with his substances and dead hookers and final notices may or may not be the way Slaine sees himself. The artist’s rendering of the king could easily pass for a slimmer interpretation of Slaine. Or he may just be another individual Slaine has created in his cannon of street bred characters who have run amok in the streets of Boston for much of the rapper’s career.
There are no songs on the album that explicitly reference the cover. Then again, all of the songs, in one way or another, feature characters and situations which could reference the kingdom of Everything Else. Certainly the faux rap pop of the song ‘Bobby Be Real’ fits the image nicely, and you can almost hear the bomp and bounce of it as you stare at the scene and imagine the music blaring from speakers in some corner of the room.
The cover of The King of Everything Else is a powerful image in some ways. It’s a coke fuelled delinquent, one who spends his nights setting fires and slashing tires. Slaine’s name, splayed across the top in giant Celtic script, lets you know not only about his heritage and his home, but that this is a bold artist making a bold statement. This is Slaine. The king of Everything Else. www.facebook.com/slaine.official