Coming out of New Jersey, upcoming rapper King Mariano is trying to make a name for himself with his new mixtape Roses II. Through nine tracks that span 24 minutes, the young MC showcases his raw talent that, despite lacking important musical elements, shows just how special this young artist can be.
The opening track “Misfits” sets the tone of what to expect perfectly. King Mariano’s bars are filled with so much pain and worry, yet there is a dark sense of humor embedded in them. Mariano’s static delivery leaves the words to create their own destiny, and this can work to both their strength and their demise throughout the entire mixtape. Over and over again, King Mariano displays that he is a talented writer but his faint and often lifeless delivery makes him feel like he is holding back the amount of emotion he wants to put into each word. If he can go forward using more emotion and power in his voice when rapping, this writing would have a much stronger impact on the listener and would move him from someone who is a strong writer to somebody who is a complete rapper
Complementing his writing, the record’s soundscape is masterfully curated to add to the atmosphere King Mariano is attempting to trap his listeners in. Most instrumentals consist of minimally detailed loops, which allows King Mariano’s progressively darker writing to leave a greater impression on the listener. On the flip side of this, when attempting to rap over already renowned instrumentals made by such producers as The Neptunes, Larry Fisherman (aka Mac Miller), and The Alchemist, King Mariano’s underdeveloped skillset shows significantly due to the more defined sound of these cuts and knowing the fact that other artists have painted their visions over these loops in a much more profound manner. Still, these moments are not unlistenable by any means, they just continue to show Mariano’s need to raise his vocal tenacity.
Going through the record, there is an array of moments that fully highlight just how high King Mariano’s ceiling may be. “God Complex” is a firey cut filled with some of the hardest writing I have heard from an upcoming rapper, and between the soulful instrumental and the bars that showcase King Mariano fighting with his ego and identity, we see why Mariano puts the King in front of his name. “For The Birds” was another standout moment with a sweet instrumental and jagged bars that continue to play into the narrative of King Mariano’s ego battling with the chaos that lingers within his life and mind. His narrations are so vivid, and hearing him rap about his battles between academic and social struggles is something super relatable to many people in today’s day and age. Overall, moments like these show how gifted King Mariano is and proves to us that if he commits to his craft, he will only go up from here.
While many pursue hip hop for the wrong reasons, and many lack the talent to be a legit MC, King Mariano is neither of those, with Roses II showcasing how he uses his art to escape and vent about his reality. Despite mixing issues and the lack of complete MC skills, King Mariano pours his heart out in this record. Hearing about his life struggles is inspiring and respectable due to how honest he is about his day-to-day situations. Be sure to check out this record because it may just be the start to a career that will be very special.
Written By: Mr. Fantastic