Ken Car$on - X Music Album Reviews

Ken Car$on - X Music Album Reviews
On his latest album, the Atlanta rapper lacks curiosity, imagination, and charisma. It’s like being whacked with a slab of styrofoam.

Ken Car$on networked his way from military school expulsion to dilettante hanging around two of his city’s essential beatmakers of the last decade (TM88 and Southside) to the first signee of Playboi Carti’s Opium label, all while maintaining an apathetic relationship with music. To this day he’s not a fan of R&B because it’s so “nasty” that it used to make him angry as a kid; he would rather listen to the All-American Rejects than hip-hop, and he rarely spins music that isn’t his own. The schtick he’s going for is that he’s not like other rappers. He’s too extreme, too rebellious, too much of a delinquent—which is really just a bunch of nonsense to make up for the fact that he’s a cardboard cut-out propped up by influential friends and access to great producers.

The easy way to harp on Ken Car$on’s latest album, X, would be to ask why such a supposedly singular artist made a project that sounds like a worse version of music that already exists: specifically, Playboi Carti’s Whole Lotta Red, which was similarly based on explosive synths and 808s heavy enough to cave in a dancefloor. Carti stretched and bent his vocals to make that album feel like an immersive experience, but X isn’t a clunker just because Ken Car$on isn’t Carti. It’s because Carson lacks the curiosity, imagination, and irreverence to do anything more than lay down the same glazed Auto-Tune raps, with only rare attempts to liven them up. It’s fine not to have anything to say as long as you say it in an interesting way. If you don’t, the music winds up like X, which hits without any effect, like being whacked with a slab of styrofoam.

For rappers like Ken Car$on, without a drip of charisma, the loud and busy sounds of a production style that has been classified as “rage” makes a good cloak to hide behind. It’s a bad sign for Car$on that even still, the album is as forgettable as it is faceless. He tries to snap out of his zombie flow on “Go” by raising the energy a tick, but it’s just a distraction from an Outtatown and Starboy beat full of exciting bleeps that make it feel like you’re in the Top Gun control room. The same production duo shows out with the disorienting synths of “South Beach,” yet Car$on plays it chill rather than latching onto the weirdness. On “Intro,” he raps harder than he typically does, but all the song made me feel is a fonder appreciation for the more meditative tracks on Yeat’s 2 Alivë, which are similar in structure but have this stream-of-consciousness edge that distinguishes them. When Car$on strives to create a mood, it comes across as performative. “I do some illegal shit every night,” he vaguely raps in what’s supposed to be a badass moment in “Fuk 12,” which tracks if your idea of “badass” is Bart Simpson shooting spitballs and making prank calls.

X is such a slog that the smallest signs of taste are cause for celebration. The pitch change at the end of “Get Rich or Die” is something! When he’s listing off his drugs on “PDBMH,” the Auto-Tune is turned up and in that instant the sped-up flow is slightly (emphasis on “slightly”) reminiscent of Thug! On “MDMA” (which has a pretty amazing beat, by the way), he raps, “Everybody rockin’ all black, I wanna be different, so I’m rockin’ navy,” and it’s pretty dumb but the dumbness made me laugh. That’s something, too! If you’re here for the beats—since you’re here for the beats—it’s fairly easy to block out Car$on’s monotony and reimagine X as an instrumental album. Too bad it’s not, because we’re at max capacity of rappers whose interest in the genre doesn’t extend beyond opportunities for free clothes and IG followers. But if Ken Car$on is going to insist, he should listen to a few more rap songs first. Maybe that would help.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Ken Car$on - X Music Album Reviews Ken Car$on - X Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 Rating: 5

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