By Nick Sligh
Kenny Mason has already carved out his own lane in rap, especially for somebody whose first full album was just released last year. Floating between trap, rock, lo-fi, punk and electronic, Kenny has already shown the ability to adopt many different styles even through his early discography.
“Angelic Hoodrat,” Kenny’s 2020 debut, was a genuinely adventurous and experimental first project for the Atlanta rapper. With the foundation of mostly dark, gloomy and reflective content, Kenny tried many different sounds, resulting in a refreshing project. Although it wasn’t flawless, and there is a visible learning curve for his artistry, it was promising enough to make him a noteworthy artist for years to come. Despite the gloomy thematics, a couple of the most enjoyable tracks were actually the most upbeat on the album. The breakout song “Hit” and the upbeat and triumphant “Chevron” helped to establish Kenny’s electric presence, talent and pure rapping ability.
It was unclear for a while whether “Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut” was just going to be a deluxe edition of the original album, or whether it was its own project. We know now that Kenny came with a completely new project, a 12-song follow-up to his 2020 debut. Here are my track-by-track reactions and overall initial impressions of “Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut.”
Kenny Mason: “Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut” (April 16, 2021)
The intro starts off with Kenny’s punk-rap fusion delivery over a hazy instrumental blending percussion and distorted synths. The blurry sound that Kenny loves going for can be hit-or-miss but works pretty well to start the album.
At first, I was not the biggest fan of this one, which had already been released in advance as a lead single. However, it’s grown on me a little bit: The initially abrasive beat became more enjoyable, and it was a very sonically appropriate fit within the tracklist. The dark, staticky, electronic production matches the flow and delivery very well, although the overall sound is still not the most captivating.
- “A+” ft. Denzel Curry
“My lil’ block so ratchet (ayy) / 12 don’t stop just pass it (ayy).” The chorus on this one is incredibly catchy. The simple, electronic-influenced beat has just the right amount of bounce to it to give the song the background kick that it needs. Across the chorus and the verses, Kenny’s flow is on point and makes this one very enjoyable. Denzel comes in and predictably kills the verse, infusing the song with a phenomenal energy and a verse that greatly elevates the track.
This one very much has the “Angelic Hoodrat” feel. The murky delivery and production builds, and then the beat switch halfway through flips the track down a slightly different path. The second half of the song blurs the vocal delivery and production even further, while still holding a lot of the bounce and pace from the initial half.
- “Much Money” ft. Freddie Gibbs
This one is definitely one of my favorite songs of the year so far. The fantastic, distorted, pitched-down sample meshes with the smooth percussion and synths and gives the song a production foundation that it couldn’t possibly miss on. Freddie Gibbs was truly the perfect feature to get for this one. The flows from Kenny and Freddie are both refreshing and effortless, and this one just doesn’t have many, if any, flaws.
- “Play Ball”
The most pure punk-rock cut of the album, “Play Ball” isn’t the most appealing track for me. The hard rock percussion and impassioned vocals are unique to hear from a rapper, but in a perfect world I would not want to see Kenny stray this far into the punk rock sound.
“Pup” starts off with a electronic-infused slow trap beat that is really enjoyable until the metal sounds are fused into the instrumental. The beat flips halfway through, and the second beat is equally strange, looping back and forth between an eerie and oddly pitched sound and a more relaxing beat. There is too much blurring to the sound to the point of being distracting.
- “Titan” ft. Angel White
Opening with a soulful delivery over a minimalist beat with electric guitar samples, this one then transitions into another rock/hip-hop fusion beat, with bouncing percussion and more electric guitar. Beat switches are typically enjoyable and refreshing, but the past couple of tracks have really switched sound so frequently that it’s a little jolting. At least this one only has two primary styles (unlike the last one), and it is a pretty enjoyable, reflective track overall from Kenny.
- “Breathe Again” ft. Ambar Lucid
The minimalist, acoustic approach fades into the vintage blurry delivery from Kenny. The distorted second verse is written well, but nothing about this one really holds my attention well from start to finish.
The simple production matches the fairly generic bars and deliveries, and unfortunately results in a pretty boring track. One of the least captivating on the tracklist.
With Kenny’s often foggy delivery and atmosphere, it can be easy sometimes to miss how great his pen can be. “4ever” is a heartfelt and incredibly well-written song that touches on Kenny’s dreams and motivations. “Way before living it, I would escape to envision it / Changing the shit they would say, I became a revisionist / Came with a vivid display of the pain that my n***** lived / Daily with diligence, babies with triggers would trigger it / Training my senses to aim at escaping my ignorance.” The potency of Kenny’s delivery is very captivating, and between the emotion and lyricism, this is one of the better songs I have heard all year.
“Storm” closes the album out with a nice, simple, effective outro. Smooth flows and a solid beat give a good vibe, blending dark elements and the lo-fi delivery with a controlled bounce to the sound.
Despite the sparks of high potential and a couple of really good songs, Kenny’s boldness and blurry sounds often make things too cluttered and murky in places. There is no doubt that Kenny is still going to do many great things throughout his career, but he still has a lot to figure out in his artistry. I definitely respect how adventurous and creative Kenny can get at times, and I think he will refine many of the flaws in his music right now as his career progresses. “Much Money” and “4ever” are both fantastic songs that prove that when Kenny is at his best, he can be up there with many in rap. I expect Kenny to keep improving his style and sound and to have a long and prolific career in rap.
Favorite Songs: “Much Money,” “4ever,” “A+”
Album Score: 68/100
Check out this Spotify playlist and like it to follow along with some of some of my favorite songs of 2021 as the year progresses!