REVIEW: Kid Ink – Wheels Up [Mixtape] | @KID_INK

It was just a few months ago that we were letting you know how much of a force Kid Ink would be in the hip-hop game. While he has yet to make a big imprint on your local radio stations, he is well on his way. To solidify himself as a bonafide artist on the come up, he recently dropped his “Wheels Up” mixtape. In case you have yet to download it, here is a review to let you what you may (or may not) be missing.

Ask around about Kid Ink on Twitter (or alternative social networking outlet) with your friends that frequently scour the internet daily for the newest music and you will probably find a reoccurring theme that can be extracted from their responses: His beats are ridiculously and undoubtedly infectious. The bass is not overbearing (except in less equipped car stereo systems), there is plenty of variation and just enough substance to keep you interested for a few listens. He even takes the liberty of having a few classic instrumentals (such as “The Luniz – I Got 5 on It” and “Tyrone Davis – Ain’t Nothing I Can Do”) sampled beyond the point of recognition for your average listener.

Kid Ink – Love Ya

If you’re turning to Kid Ink in hopes of him becoming a lyrical messiah that embeds subtle messages of truth and deeper meaning that can only be unraveled by listening to his project in full, then you are going to be sadly disappointed. However, I feel its safe to listen to his music without finding too many glaring resemblance’s of Lil B. His words are coherent and show some form of continuity. Absent are the seemingly meaningless and monotonous “SWAGS” and ad-libs that you might expect. Contrary to common belief, hip-hop is indeed a two sided spectrum that doesn’t involve the false dilemma logical fallacy that plagues frequent discussion. There is a middle ground, and Kid Ink seems to set up camp there quite well.

Tracks such as “What I Do” actively dictate his angle. He aims to lead a group of individuals that see themselves as rebels. While his actions are mainly within the confines of the law and break little to no rules, his free spirited attitude is welcome change in a year in which Rick Ross and MMG’s serious street fueled demeanor have ruled supreme. More than anything, Kid Ink has a knack for producing tracks that could easily be club anthems on any given weekend. This is seen at its best on the underground artist laden track “Stop” which features Tyga and 2 Chainz.

To his credit, Kid Ink easily exudes a sense of carelessness while infusing a feeling of class and exuberant living. All of which are qualities not far beyond his target market for by any means. The youthfulness of Kid Ink is what keeps his appeal at a constantly rising zenith. His approach to the subject matter of fast living can become tiresome, however, as it is addressed many a times throughout the course of the project. Kid Ink’s more veteran listeners can speak volumes to this, assuming they have heard his previous singles ( “Drinks In The Air ft. Ray J” and “It’s On” for example). His musical balance between sticking true to what has brought him success versus versatility is as lopsided as this very sentence. The ever present and unhidden bravado in his lyrical comfort level might even be cause for concern, but that’s not our issue to tackle.

Kid Ink – Top Of The World

When it comes to Ink’s music, there are many bright spots. For one, he tends not to rely on the help of other artists to bolster his reputation or download counts. This mixtape includes a mere 5 features out of 16 tracks. This is not due to his lack of popularity or inability to lock in big name features, rather it is a calculated risk to gauge whether he alone is worthy of being listened to. By judging the quality of these vehicle ride friendly tracks, his risk has paid off in dividends. As more individuals come in contact with him, the ability to relate and easily remember his material can only mean good things for his chances of success.

Negatively, his lyrical content relies heavily on very shallowly dug metaphors. Your sensitivity to this subject matter will undoubtedly influence your decision about the overall value of this mixtape. If you can deal with very frequent instances in which you predict the punchline and are not in search of a current Grammy Award winning project, then this here will be a very solid addition to your iTunes collection. With that said, you can grab your copy of Kid Ink’s “Wheels Up” mixtape right here. What are your thoughts on the project?


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Ambitious yet realistic. Respectful yet assertive.

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