Music » Music Reviews

KING 20/20 rebrands himself on danceable new single ‘OFF IT’

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J. Edward Moss, aka KING 20/20, has spread his roots into every corner of the local arts scene. Before the pandemic, he took his first steps into the world of literature through the release of “These Streets,” a collaborative collection of poetry. As a visual artist, his colorful, vibrant pop art can be seen on promotional materials for concerts and vintage clothing sellers across the city.

KING 20/20’s musical endeavors snap and shimmer with the same effervescence as his design work. In 2018, he released his thought-provoking alternative hip-hop album, “CMFRTBL.” On this first full-length, he rapped about political and mental strife over danceable beats. His unambiguous, cutting vocal delivery continued on the 2020 single “Stupid Dumb.” His direct articulation of each bar had an intoxicating effect, encouraging listeners to hit the “repeat” button in a daze.

The latest KING 20/20 single, “OFF IT,” was released in early June, and moves away from rap in favor of smooth, melodic vocals with a grunge-inspired twist. Listeners are immediately greeted with a powerful bass line and crisp electronic drums — a combination reminiscent of the British post-punk band IDLES.

While KING 20/20’s overall style has shifted, his affinity for creating rhythmic tracks with an ear-worm quality remains the same. On “OFF IT,” Moss enunciates the lines of the chorus over a Mac Demarco-esque guitar line, and it’s nearly impossible not to sing along.

As Moss continues to rebrand himself as a musician, listeners should pay close attention. His ability to pair high-powered beats with the raw edge of ’90s-rockers like The Pixies has resulted in a sound entirely his own. After years of experimentation, KING 20/20 may be on the verge of concocting his magnum opus.