Very few people note how influential King Tee was in the development of West Coast hip-hop. As a pioneer of the characteristic LA hip-hop style, he is virtually unknown under the shadow of Dr. Dre and Co during the late 80's and early 90's.
Despite a groundbreaking debut album "Act A Fool", King Tee tries his hand making dance music for the club scene. "At Your Own Risk" is generally a weak album due to the use of synthesizers, a dance track [what was he thinking?], and the extra lame use of an extra lame Rolling Stones sample ["Diss You"]. Luckily, for King Tee, these horrible tracks have rightfully plagued this album into obscurity. He admitted on the subsequent, "Tha Triflin Album", that his crossover approach was a mistake- an amazing relevation.
The album isn't a complete waste, however. "Played Like A Piano" is a diamond in a sea of pop garbage. Guest appearances by Ice Cube and Breeze (from the short lived LA Posse)add thier vocal skills to one of the baddest beats ever constructed by L.A. hip-hop beat wizard DJ Pooh. "Piano" though relatively unknown, is probably one of the most solid hip-hop anthems ever produced.
As a side note: many don't realize King Tee is responsible for the alcoholic heritage of the 'Liks', who like their mentor, only put out two about two albums before selling out. Despite King Tee and the 'Liks failings, it is important to remember the pioneers of the West Coast sound.
The King is dead. Long live the King.