King Iso cuts deeper than ever before with his new single and music video “Nightmare” out now via Strange Music. It heralds the arrival of his anxiously awaited new album, iLLdren, on October 27, 2023.
Over the track’s warped guitar loop, Iso confronts mental health struggles with incisive bars and an insidiously soulful hook as he assures himself, “One day I’ll wake up from this nightmare.” In the accompanying video, his demons poke, prod, and provoke him. Their gothic choreography only heightens the atmosphere of unease as the blood on Iso’s shirt and face remains jarring. The unsettling clip still builds towards an all-important catharsis.
He states, “‘Nightmare’ is something I wrote after I got out of treatment last August as a bunch of trivial things were happening in real-time that triggered memories of past events. I always write about my life and this is just one of the records that wrote itself. I know a few will relate.”
Thus far, he has bulldozed the way for iLLdren with the likes of “Young” and “Way You Are.” Opening up about his son’s Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis on the latter, the song has really begun to resonate. Autisticana affirmed, “This song shows just how important neurodivergent are to society as they can help raise awareness with their abilities and special needs, despite them being ‘different’.” Dancing About Architecture asked, “When was the last time such a song said anything this timely and universally relevant, yet this honest and personal…this important? Not for a long time, I’d guess.” In addition, it picked up plugs from Music Existence, Folk N Rock, and more. Maintaining a prolific pace, “Way You Are” followed the equally tender “My Kids.” It landed in the wake of “Step Daddy.” The latter has already generated 88.5K Spotify streams and 81K YouTube views on the music video. It continues to gain steam though buoyed by fan enthusiasm, reaction videos, and excitement. Meanwhile, his epic 2022 full-length Get Well Soon has amassed nearly 10 million streams and counting.
King Iso strains the constant chaos of mental health into bludgeoning, often beautiful, and always brilliant hip-hop. Since 2015, he has gone from living on the streets to a viral smash with one of the biggest stars in the world—at the speed of one of his signature cadences.