After being in OC to perform for a crowd that waited patiently for his 1 am about a week ago, to achieving his highest ever position on the charts in the middle of last year, to first stepping on the scene a few years ago and accruing a devoted fan base (the “BatGang”), Kid Ink can finally tell us what it feels like to be on.
In fact, he starts his third studio album, “Full Speed,” with the song “What It Feels Like”, where Ink is more than straightforward about describing what it feels like to finally have success over a triumphant instrumental. Ink is back to redefine what cool is as all the work he’s put in up to this point has granted him a promotion from JV to the starting varsity lineup. Most evident on the track “Cool Back”, the 28-year-old lays out the many ways he’s the Fonzie of 2015, a theme that runs throughout the album.
From having no features on his debut album in 2012, Kid Ink can be found with the major players of today who take his album from a rap album to a star’s project. This may having something to do with his signing to RCA records, which put him in touch with label mate R. Kelly, among the other guys responsible for an extra punch on probable singles that give the Usher-assisted “Body Language” a run for its money. But in being featured with the jocks, it’s now more evident than ever that Ink has star power.
His smooth vocals and ability to harmonize has pushed him to the position as the newest rebel heartthrob, a category including Drake, Trey Songz and Big Sean, all of whom he favors in several different spots in the album. He and Trey are almost indistinguishable at the start of “About Mine.” Chris Brown, another member of the group, joins Ink for their third hit in less than a year, making for more of the lovably cocky rhythm in “Hotel.”
The track, produced by The Featherstones, is likely to keep Ink afloat in the club scene along with the additions of other buzzing producers such as DJ Mustard and Nic Nac (“Ayo,” “Loyal”) that laid the groundwork for this contemporary urban-pop album. If you’re the company you keep, Kid Ink is a rap-elite, a notion that not even his biggest fans likely would have bet on after the short lull following his debut release.
Other than being a badass who refers to himself as the menacing fictional character Deebo, Kid Ink asserts his other new role as the resident stoner in this new hip-hop version of Breakfast Club, mentioning the Mary Jane, and all the cool ways one can consume it, giving Wiz Khalifa a run for his money. He even dedicates a song (“Blunted”) to his favorite pastime; the dizzying beat sends you into a trance. It’s a wonder how one can go full speed with so much weed in their system.
A rap fan, and especially those in the BatGang must be happy about the position Kid Ink has assumed in this latest wave of rap. It’s as if he’s made the right friends and buckled down to find a formula that goes in sync with what people want to hear today and took advantage of the most crucial playing time he’s had thus far. He’s like the rap game’s Jimmy Butler.
RECOMMENDED: Kid Ink has encompassed the popular sound of music and needs to be recognized for it immediately.