Carlos “King Los” Coleman knows his mission in life. “I want to be the greatest rapper ever,” the Baltimore native says with an unwavering confidence. “I’m just trying to exhibit the best rap stuff you ever heard.”
The goal sounds like a lofty one, but when you listen to Los rhyme, things don’t sound so far-fetched. After releasing his first mixtape in 2008 Los has dropped 14 projects; all of which display expert lyricism. His latest, God Money War is a layered look into the complexities of man, all built around tightly woven rhyme schemes and every man reliability.
“It’s the story of a kid from Baltimore, involved with all kinds of stuff, inspired to be one of the best rappers on the planet,” he says of the project.
Los’ love affair with rapping began when he was just 16 years old, after the murder of his father. He’d write poetry to help cope with the loss and by the time he turned 18, Los graduated high school and developed a reputation as a promising MC.
By 2005, he signed to Diddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment through local Baltimore imprint Bloc Incorporated, but the business end of deal didn’t work out so he hit the mixtape scene to build a buzz and master his craft.
As fate would have it, Diddy continued to seek out King Los and signed him to Bad Boy again in 2012; this time without the middleman. With the famed-music mogul in his corner Los continued to grow and develop a reputation as a top-tier MC, sought-after ghostwriter and expert freestyle artist.
One of hip-hop’s most celebrated emerging artists; Los’ 2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher and 2014’s “Sway in the Morning” radio freestyle has garnered over 2.5 million views on YouTube. Los also hit the Billboard charts for the first time in his career in 2013 when he appeared on French Montana’s “Ocho Cinco.”
In 2014, Los signed a new deal with RCA Records through After Platinum and 88 Classic. God Money War is the first release from the partnership.
“I had a concept and an idea to create a project that expanded the conversation, no matter what the conversation was,” he says about the project’s theme. “I just wanted to show a perspective of where I’m from and the kind of conversations I have with the people that I’m closest to, being from Baltimore.”
The project’s first single does exactly that. On “War,” Los writes from the perspective of a street hustler who feels he has no options. With the DJ Mustard-produced “Can’t Fade Us,” King Los paints a picture of a party with money falling from the sky. It’s all inspired by street figures who have seen better days.
“I partied with Kingpins, we had all the bottles,” he says. “It’s not the glorification of the lifestyle, just me reminiscing how it was.”
God Money War is a deep ride, but at the core of it all is King Los’ quest for the crown.
“When you take an extreme work ethic, when you take the Lil Waynes, the Jay Zs of the world -- you can attribute one thing that they all have in common and that’s an extreme work ethic,” he continues acknowledging all the rap greats who came before him.
“I just always feel like I’m a little bit better.”