Showing posts with label kid ink. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kid ink. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 5, 2016

I was expecting this week to be busier than it is. I mean sure, it wasn't exactly a quiet week - new number one, a bunch of new arrivals and some considerable jumps around the chart - but I was oddly expecting more. Turns out one of the biggest factors that I was expecting - Kanye's big release - actually made no impact, because he kept it TIDAL exclusive, which Billboard doesn't count. And as for the Grammys... well, maybe it's just me, but with a few exceptions, it actually seemed more reasonable.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - may 2, 2015 (VIDEO)

Man, this took way too long to get out. Glad it's here, but between computer problems and editing...

Want to know what else took WAY too long to put out? My next review, so stay tuned!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - may 2, 2015

So here's the funny thing about when songs fall off the very top - it can take a bit of time for everything to start breaking down and getting interesting, or at least allow a little more instability into the charts. And while last week was the one that got all the big headlines, this week is where things started to shake up a little. Coupled with the Academy of Country Music having its annual awards - even though they were a complete joke - we got a couple surprises on the charts this week, even if the quality of said surprises remains to be seen.

Friday, April 17, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - april 25, 2015 (VIDEO)

I honest to God thought I couldn't get this done tonight. The filming was hell, I started late, and I was bleary-eyed and exhausted. Whew.

Okay, next is Tyler, and then I have a slew of reviews I shouldn't have any problem knocking out... plus I've got a surprise planned for this weekend. Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - april 25, 2015

Well, it finally happened. Fourteen weeks into its run, just a scant few weeks from breaking a record held for nearly twenty years, it was unseated by a dark horse soundtrack hit by a subpar rapper and a YouTuber that nobody could have seen coming. Yes, the rest of the week happened and gave me a fair amount to actually talk about, but in a rare occurence on this show, it actually looks like our Top Ten might be more interesting - because this week, 'Uptown Funk' by Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars lost the #1 slot.

Friday, February 13, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - february 21, 2015 (VIDEO)

Bit late getting to this, but with a week this underwhelming, it kind of fits that it's this late.

Next up, I was going to cover Vulnicura, but I think I need to deal with this surprise Drake album... hoo boy...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - february 21, 2015

Okay, we've got another busy week on Billboard BREAKDOWN here - multiple new entries into the top ten, a whole load of songs shuffling up and down the charts, and a slew of new chart arrivals, some that were easy enough to predict and some that did seem to come out of nowhere. More importantly to my American audience, the week chronicled by this Billboard Hot 100 corresponds with the Super Bowl, and that meant one artist performing at the Half Time show  managed to make a big impact with two singles surging back to the charts. Here are two clues: it wasn't the headliner, and it was one of the few things interesting about the whole experience before the mother of all bad calls courtesy of the Seahawks. I mean, wow - no matter how many bad songs show up this week, I don't think anything is beating that.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

video review: 'full speed' by kid ink

Man, I wish this album was better. Not terrible or bad, but it should be better than it is.

Okay, next up is Bjork, but this one might take some time, Billboard BREAKDOWN might drop first (I've got a busy evening tomorrow night, might not get time to film). But outside of that, I've got a few more artists on the docket that do look promising - stay tuned!

album review: 'full speed' by kid ink

It's going to surprise a fair number of you when I say this, given my reputation for having some pretty tough standards for hip-hop... but I've got a bit of a soft spot for Kid Ink. And for the life of me, I have a really hard time understanding it. I mean, I get why I like certain artists as a critic: my love of country comes from my fondness for Westerns, good bourbon, and better storytelling, my liking of folk and power metal can be directly linked to the wall of fantasy novels in my apartment, my passion for space rock and progressive metal comes from my sharper, more analytical side that also deeply loves sci-fi, and my taste for gothic music in various forms from symphonic metal to post-punk comes from the appropriation of religious iconography and darker moods that I find compelling. My love of punk from my anarchist days in high school and university, my fondness for boy bands comes from the years I've been singing karaoke and vocal harmonies, and hell, even my liking of an act like Kesha comes from an outgrowth of a wilder, trashier side of pop music that reminds me over of the over-the-top earnest cheese of hair metal more than anything else.

But Kid Ink? As a critic, I've struggled with why I've tended to like his material more than most from objectively more polished and skilled rappers. His writing is not stellar, his concepts are not unique, and he arguably has less personality than many of his features. So why am I more inclined to give him a free pass over, say, Nicki Minaj? Well, part of this comes down to artistic intent, in that I don't think Kid Ink's trying to make music that's more than simple club rap, and in that area, he's extraordinarily competent. His flow and technical rhyming ability isn't bad, he has some good production with melodic hooks, and while he can definitely be sleazy, he tends not to push his luck as much as, say, Lil Wayne does. I'll say it, I liked Kid Ink's sophomore record My Own Lane - it's not a great record and he still works with Chris Brown more than any artist should, but at the end of the day, the album does exactly what it's designed to do, and on that merit, I have a hard time calling in a failure. Yeah, he doesn't have as much personality as a duo like Rae Sremmurd or an artist like Young Thug, but his technical skills are better and the personality he does have doesn't make me want to set things on fire.

That said, I wasn't exactly looking forward to this. Early critical buzz was suggesting that Full Speed was a step down from his last album, and his most recent features and tracks haven't exactly impressed me. And let's be honest, there were an awful lot of guest stars on that track listing that didn't exactly enthuse me. But then again, I did like My Own Lane, so I gave Full Speed some listens - was it any good?

Friday, January 30, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - february 7, 2015

And there we go. Lot of upload problems getting this online - which is odd, considering the editing went so quickly, but eh, it happens.

Okay, next up is Sleater-Kinney and Doomtree, stay tuned!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - february 7, 2015

So, I'm assuming by now, if you watch this show or not, you might have heard that the Twilight-fanfiction turned trashy BDSM romance novel is being converted into a film. One plagued with bad buzz because the leads apparently have no chemistry and they needed an R-rating simply because of all of the cheap mid-90s softcore they needed to fill the running time and take away from the awful, awful plot? Trust me, I'm going to see Fifty Shades of Grey and give it the due thrashing it deserves, but until then we have the soundtrack - and the songs that won't stop rising on the charts. I have to say, America, you seemed to take my assertion that the public had taste like a challenge, because from the looks of things, we had a rough week.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

video review: 'my own lane' by kid ink

Whoops, forgot about this yesterday. Ah well, caught it now.

Next up will probably be Switchfoot... really? Do I have to? 

Ugh, fine.

Friday, January 10, 2014

album review: 'my own lane' by kid ink

So believe it or not, I do read a lot of other people's reviews of music - not because I'm looking to parrot someone else's opinion or seek validation in critical consensus, but because I'm always curious where and why my points of view might clash with others'. And the fact that there is critical disagreement isn't a bad thing either - people have differing opinions, and civil debate and discussion is always appreciated.

And nowhere on the internet is that sort of debate and discussion more intense than when it comes to hip-hop, particularly acts that sit on the borderline between underground and mainstream success. Now I'll admit that pop-rap isn't always my thing, but there are ways of doing it well, I have a higher tolerance for pop than most, and I was willing to keep an open mind when I dug into the independently released debut album from LA rapper Kid Ink Up & Away. I mean, it's early January, nothing much comes out this time of year, and I wanted to make sure I did my research. And besides, it couldn't be that bad, right?

Well, it wasn't. Look, Kid Ink's Up & Away isn't great, but it's okay and has a couple decent club bangers on it that I did like. Part of my issues with it come in Kid Ink's choice of hip-hop 'sound': the nebulous subgenre of 'cloud rap', which is characterized by ethereal sounds, odd samples, and futuristic beats. Kid Ink sticks with an accessible form of the genre in instrumentation and subject matter, and while cloud rap has more of a focus on melodies, I found the instrumentation to be a little cluttered and the production a little too slick. Most of that masks the bigger problem with Kid Ink as a rapper - namely, that he's not all that interesting. His flow is a blend of Drake and Chris Brown, and he has neither Drake's wordplay or emotional heft or Chris Brown's singing voice. The best word to describe him coming off of Up & Away is inoffensive - it's not something special or all that memorable, but some of the grander melodies are enjoyable enough and there's some occasionally good wordplay. So, what happened with his follow-up and major label debut, My Own Lane?