In the past year a new genre called “swag rap” made its way into the forefront. This type of music isn’t too much about the lyrical content, as it is about a hot beat coupled with an infectious hook. A “swag rapper” is usually identified by having a body covered in tattoos with some hip skater boutique clothing. Kid Ink fits this description exactly with his debut album Up and Away falling into the category of what I would consider “swag rap”. Kid Ink’s hype began when his mixtapes began to hit the blogosphere and the industry began to buzz about him. The shining spotlight really landed on Kid Ink when he was revealed as being a part of XXL’s 2012 Freshman class. His debut album was his time to raise his star and let it shine to show the world what this inked up artist was really about, but the star just ended up being pretty dull and unnoticeable by the album’s end.
The album begins with a bass heavy, synthesizer filled effort titled “No One Left”, the hook is contagious and will have you singing along by the time the track ends. The album continues with “Is It You”, which has a nice melodic beat that will capture you. This would have been a much better single than “Time of Your Life”, which doesn’t seem to be very memorable. As the album progresses, it becomes evident that the production is starting to sound pretty repetitious in each song. The constant bass and synths end up mashing together to one big hour long track that talks about clubs, women and liquor. The only stand out track from the bunch was the trunk rattling anthem called “Neva Gave a Fuck”, which features a sassy female voice repeating the word “bumping”.
Up and Away is fine to throw on if you are throwing a party and want to get a gyrating crowd going, but if you are looking for a memorable album with some kind of variety then this one can be passed on. Hopefully, for Kid Ink’s next effort he steps out of the box and uses some groundbreaking production to separate himself from the slew of other “swag rappers” that have appeared in the industry.