Album Review: King Semi – Live As A Villain Die As A Hero


The highly anticipated Live As A Hero Die As A Villain album has arrived. Released 5/6/15 by King Semi via SoundCloud – The album includes King Semi’s crowd favorite “Patience” as well as “Call It” and “Danger”. King Semi has been rocking crowds and killing shows in Louisville all year. I say it was the perfect time to drop the project, at the height of his most charismatic time thus far during his come up as an artist.

King Semi is originally from Sacramento, California. He’s strictly an emcee and has been releasing music since 2008. He is also the creator of “2 Exclusive”. According to Semi:

“2 Exclusive is not a label, but a mindstate. A collection of talent with humbled excellence.”

The 14 track album features production from KleanBeatz, Lee on the Beats, Sevn Thomas, Nikk Blvkk, Cash Gordon, C.O.O.P., SeriousBeatz, and RawzMuzic. It only includes features from 4 other artist, some of the dopest picks to work with on the Louisville hip-hop scene if I say so myself: Study, Tay All Day, Dom B. and T. McAfee! Go ahead and press play now so you can listen for yourself:

I’ve done a quick chronological track by track review:

1) Villain (Prod by Lee on the Beats): This track introduces us to both King Semi and the album. He welcomes us into the mind state of a Villain in the Ville. Definitely a track for the Louisville DJ’s to bang in the club.

2) LiveDie (Prod by KleanBeatz): “Live as a villain, die as a hero.” This track tells us it’s not about the materialistic things. Semi also goes in on the fact that rappers are out here lying in their rhymes.

3) AsGod (Prod by KleanBeatz): The comparison of a man to a God. One of the best concepts on the album.

4) Call It (Prod by Fallout Beatz): This record here is for the radio, club, the streets, and the car with the windows down and the trunk jumping! The beat rolls. The hook is catchy, “I be on my grind like Bucky Lassette, your girl throw dat pussy, you know I’ma smash it. & I be making plays like I’m Marshall Faulk, headed to the hall of fame call me Tony Hawk. Feds watching – I can’t even call it. Niggas plottin – I can’t even call it. Your beezy hit my line I can’t even call it.” Semi stunts on this one.

5) Top Spot ft Study (Prod by KleanBeatz): Keep the real niggas in the top spot. The feature “Study” compliments Semi and swags out his 16 on this track about remaining a real nigga.

6) Seven Seconds (Prod By SeriousBeatz): A seductive and sexy song for the ladies!! “Every seven seconds I be thinking bout yo sexing. Aint no time for second guessing, I’ma teach that ass a lesson girl.”

7) 12 Rounds (Prod by Sevn Thomas): Another song for the ladies but this one is a little more intimate! Semi talks about “beating it up” for 12 rounds, and lets the ladies know he knows they like it rough!

8) Dark Knight ft Dom B (Prod by Nikk Blvkk): Okay so this is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The production is dope and has this build of suspense. It sounds like a tune from a horror movie. Dom B, one of the most dope lyricist I’ve ever heard is the feature. The song is about others perceiving you as the bad guy. Semi thinks its time to prove them right and keep his heart cold and dark as knight.

Semi performing at the I Am Royalty Revamped showcase
Semi performing at the I Am Royalty Revamped showcase

9) Heaven Cry (Prod by Cash Gordon): No salt to the other producers on the project but the best production definitely comes from my boy Cash Gordon with this one. Heaven Cry is ride music. The song has a strong message. Semi is able to be honest with us about some of his personal life issues that may lead heaven to cry.

10) Survive (Prod by KleanBeatz): Survive is about growing and developing as a man, overcoming self doubt and mastering the art of survival, pursuit of happiness, living dreams, and enjoying life. He reminds us he may be a villain but he’ll die as a hero.

11) Danger (Sounds By C.O.O.P): Another single that dropped before the album. Semi comes back to his concept from “AsGod” and asks “If I was a God, could I control my anger?” Another track where Semi is stunting as the best. I think this track is like a warning, like a danger sign. He’s letting us know he’s coming.

12) Coronas/The Curse (Prod by Cash Gordon): Two songs in one. The first is a song about coming up and dreaming on the future – No more coronas. The second is about a prominent social issue. He talks about “The Curse” of being black in America. I would have preferred to see The Curse extended and added as a solo track. Its really too good to share the shine.

13) Focused ft. T.McAfee & TayAllDay (Prod by Serious Beats): Semi is accompanied by T. McAfee and TayAllDay. I think this is Semi’s best flow on the album. The song is about hustling, grinding, and staying focused. All three fellas go in lyrically, I think its one of TMac and Tay’s strongest flows as well.

14) Patience (Prod by RawzMuzic): Also one of the best production selections on the project. Last but never least, King Semi leaves us with his most successful single and crowd favorite. Another club banger. He’s stunting, he’s keeping it real, and he’s turning up while still teaching us all a lesson about keeping patience during the rise to the top.

Overall, the album is a good listen. This is something i’d enjoy while taking a road trip out of town. You know when you’re feeling yourself and feeling good cruising on your way to your destination. He really comes out of his shell and starts stunting. The album cover says it all. No more Mr. Nice Guy is Semi’s message. Its time to feel the wrath of a beast.

Keep up with King Semi:

Soundcloud, FacebookTwitter, Youtube, & Instagram.


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