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Los Angeles rapper Kid Ink rounded off a successful 2015 with the release of Summer In The Winter. The eleven track mixtape follows Full Speed which dropped back in January. I wasn't much of a fan of that project; the production was decent enough I guess, and although Kid Ink sounds professional and tight on a beat, his uninspired subject matter and safety net of commercial, radio-friendly cuts wore very thin very quickly. With DJ Mustard at the helm of this new project, which apparently was compiled 'organically without aiming for a bunch of radio hits', can Ink finally manage to really get out of first gear?
Getting underway with Bunny Ranch, I'm unsure of how to anticipate the rest of the album. The beat is good enough; a catchy, bouncy bass-driven beat backs skippy flows from Kid Ink. They sound pretty much the same as 90% of the industry out right now though, and there's no clear progression from his Full Speed release on show on the opener. The content is as basic as ever, and Ink still doesn't sound distinctive or truly passionate. Promise is a summery, upbeat track (what a surprise 'eh?), and Fetty Wapp's hook is quirky and catchy, but Kid Ink's writing is so forgettable and cliché that he fails to make his verses even remotely interesting. The beat is dope though; the underlying bass in the hook is really effective, and DJ Mustard provides some real character through his production. Ink is the one letting it down.
It's on Rewind where the album starts to irritate more than provide any kind of enjoyment or entertainment. Remember when Akon was collaborating with Styles P and Obie Trice? Well now he's singing 'stay living yolo' and 'you got that oh yeah, know me love you long time' with Kid Ink providing inspired punchlines such as 'let me get you high baby, all the way to Jupiter'. Maybe it's because I'm not 15, but track after track of pretty much the same beat, same flow, same content and same hook is not enough to excite me, or to get me to pay any real attention. And when you do you've wasted your time. The 'weed tune' Blowin' Swishers Pt. 2 is once again lyrically lackluster, and when on One Day he opens with 'I went from rags to riches, to fucking the baddest bitches', the sheer lack of any sincerity, depth or creativity across the entire album is the only thing I can take from it.
Continue reading: Kid Ink - Summer In The Winter Album Review
28-year-old Los Angeles MC Kid Ink has been slowly building his reputation for a number of years now, consistently grinding and working with a polished, glossy sound. 'Full Speed' is his third studio album, released through The Alumni Music Group, and if there's one thing you can say about Kid Ink it's that he knows exactly who his fan-base is and what they want. His 2014 'My Own Lane' album was packed with radio ready, club friendly tunes that would please most undiscerning hip hop heads; I can't say that the simplistically structured lyrics and safe song concepts made the album a winner for me, but with a year's growth and a fair amount of success, maybe 'Full Speed' would see Ink shift into that next gear.
From the word go, it's pretty clear he hasn't though. I'm not even one of those '90s era and nothing else' guys, but when every track starts to blend into one continuous, rather tame soundtrack to a teenager's pre-drinks session, it really makes me lose faith in the direction of mainstream hip hop. Although the beginning of the 'Full Speed' experience is promising, with the anthemic opener 'What It Feels Like' and the confident 'Faster' providing excellent sonic suitability, if not any particular lyrical depth, it quickly descends into disappointment. Ink's tendency to rely on tired club hooks and boring, played out concepts, such as on 'Dolo' and 'Body Language', make the album a hard listen if you're looking for any kind of substance at all.
The bouncy, glossy instrumentals that Kid Ink uses on this album are most definitely suited to his style, and often carry the songs somewhat; the lyrical content in this is the main thing that I have serious gripes about. This may be club-geared, commercial music, but that doesn't excuse the lacklustre writing displayed throughout. The Chris Brown collaboration 'Hotel' is probably a low point with a rather hypocritical standpoint considering the rest of the album's themes. 'Blunted' is one example of Kid Ink's charismatic flow and delivery, combining with an energetic instrumental with successful results. The clattering snares and melodic spitting make for a busy, yet continuously interesting listen.
Continue reading: Kid Ink - Full Speed Album Review
Date of birth
1st April, 1986
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