Hunnypot Does...
Powered by CircleSquareLA


Written by 

With four EPs under their belt, and a  Grammy nominated Lost In Paradise album,  there was a high expectation from me for their second album, Celebration.  This talented group of college friends (they met at a backyard party at Uncle Lui’s place) rooted in their love of music, at the helm is the lead singer, Sasualei “Jr. King” Maliga, hailing from Samoa and Hawaii, on the guitar is Taumata “Mata” Grey, a native of Hawaii with Samoan roots. On bass is Ivan “Uncle Lui” Kirimaua, born in Fiji, and on the drums is Jerome “Big Rome” Taito, originally from Los Angeles but of Tongan heritage. Common Kings is an amazing live band if you have never seen them live, it is a must.  So much energy, sounds, showmanship and fun!  I was lucky enough to meet up with them a few years back while they were on tour with Stephen Marley and Rebelution.  I got a few minutes to take a couple photos of them and with them, but it was when I mentioned that my son and I came 3.5 hours from State College, home of Penn State, they were shocked we traveled so far.  I told them I was a grad and my son was a current student at Penn State.  They instantly brought up Saquon Barkley and the Rose Bowl game against USC (their favorite).  We talked about the game for some time, their tour manger constantly telling them they had to get on stage, but they wanted to keep talking about what an amazing Rose Bowl game it was and how amazing Saquon Barkley was.  Such great guys and so chill, thought it was so funny that there were not worried about getting on stage!  When I heard they were releasing an album, I knew I had to listen right away.  This album is simply fantastic.  While Lost In Paradise was a great album, you can feel and hear the growth in this latest album. 

We start off the album with “Do My Thing,” I cannot wait to hear them do this live with the 'whaooo whaoooooo' chant!  Great bass and drum line in this, this song gets you pumped up and a perfect song to start off with.  They are basically saying, We are Common Kings and we are here!  I love having Royal Blue on this track, his flow is so nice and fits perfectly.  Track 2 is “Raggamuffin” with J. Boog, a sweet reggae dub groove, Jr. King’s voice really stands out in this, sounds so good.  J. Boog comes in with his distinct flow and works so well with Common Kings.  The title track, “Celebration (One Shot)” is next up.  Love this song, it really is their anthem about how far they have come and it is time to actually take a moment to celebrate!  Can we take a shot, one shot, it’s a celebration. Yeah.  If we take another shot, two shots, now that’s the combination. Yeah. Now we all won.  Til the liquor gets the best of me, drinks up, cheers to the memories. I love this song, good groove to chill to and just enjoy! We move to track 4 and possibly my favorite track, “Came Up” with Kabaka Pyramid and Spread LOF.  Such a great bass line and amazing beats.  Kabaka absolutely kills this joint with his typical Kabaka flow.  Spread LOF brings a nice Latin flow that matches up well with Kabaka. Love the change of styles with each song which leads us to “Hideaway” another sweet flow and a more upbeat pop feel, but the flow of Jr. King is so nice and just puts a smile on your face.  Another one of my favorites.

Track 6 with Marc E. Bassy, “Angel” is another good groove, another good song to chill too.  "Treat her like an angel, so she knows, we will get a little closer. Heaven ain’t that far away".  Marc E. Bassy brings a nice verse, great feel on this.  While not a song with loud and complicated instruments, the bands work on this is amazing. We move onto the previously released “One Day.”  "One day when I have a lot of money, Imma be the king again sippin’ on that Jameson, Party it don’t ever end, you gon’ wanna bring your friend".  This is a great upbeat song, just makes you wanna party and dance.  This song is absolutely fantastic live! “Stay With Me” is next up, slowing it down just a little, a nice reggae love tune, with a great drum beat.  Another song where Jr. King sounds so good.  They hit us with a sweet upbeat pop ture that reminds me of a Bruno Mars flow, “Wild Out” with Big Body Cisco. If you do not get up out your seat for this and dance, something mat be wrong with you!  This is just FUN!  We move to “City of Champions” an homage to their hometown.  Nice flow to this song, even if you don’t like LA, this makes you at least appreciate it.  "Shorts in the day, Need a jacket at night, Oh Wilshire Blvd not a jacker in sight, Once you get here, You don’t wanna leave, Don’t matter where ya from, Catch a non stop flight, To Los Angeles".  That takes us to “Queen Majesty” with Sammy Johnson and The Green.  Another good reggae dub flow, that rhythm and bassline hits so nicely.  Caleb Keolanui sounds wonderful on this with a nice flow from Sammy Johnson, and of course more beautiful singing from Jr. King.  We finish off this superb album with another one of my favorites “Just One Of Those Days” with DeMarco.  This has a nice Sizzla feel, and DeMarco kills his verse, so nice having him join this joint.  I love the chill groove and lyrics.  Nice way to finish off this album.  I love the different styles in each song, the guests and beautiful work of voices and instruments.  This is a must listen to album, the growth from these four is great and so nice to see.


One Love- Todd


Todd Judd

Photojournalist - Pennsylvania

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Twitter