Kenny Mason - RUFFS Music Album Reviews

Kenny Mason - RUFFS Music Album Reviews
In Kenny Mason’s world, puppies are royalty and contemporary Southern rap and rock go hand-in-hand.

Genre-blending is standard in rap today, but Kenny Mason’s mix is more fluid than most. From a young age, the Atlanta rapper was drawn to music across genres—from Lil Wayne and Kendrick Lamar to Deftones and Slipknot. At 27, he’s an exactingly technical writer who underlines his slice-of-life anecdotes with double entendres and balloons them with grand, moody beats. It isn’t like Baby Keem releasing an album of mostly rap songs with one acoustic rock ballad; Mason is just as likely to rap-croon over a crunchy guitar riff as he is to flow breathlessly across stuttering 808s. Every sound in his music folds back into rap, the soup stock supporting the diverse ingredients that give his work its texture.

Mason has been calibrating this bombastic combo since his 2020 debut, Angelic Hoodrat, a fast-paced mix of alternative rock, trap, and R&B. As he’s matured, his ambitious musical hybrids detract less from the raw yet clinical writing style that’s made believers out of Denzel Curry and Freddie Gibbs. On his loosely canine-themed new album, RUFFS, Mason’s genre agnosticism becomes virtually seamless, disinclined to draw your attention to the fact that any fusion is occurring at all. He’s not exactly charting unexplored terrain like quinn or Redveil, but his wanderlust has coagulated into something more singular: A world where puppies are royalty and contemporary Southern rap and rock go hand-in-hand.

As a rapper, Mason has an unnerving sense of control, and his deadpan voice makes it all the more impressive when he pulls the ripcord and effortlessly demolishes bars. He blazes through the reverb’d frenzy of opening track “Zoomies” and mid-album highlight “Nosedive” without so much as an exhale, yet manages enough switches not to get stale. “Halloween” and “RX” span staccato sing-raps and stadium-sized croons, which are different from the sturdy flows over samples and hi-hats on “Halos” and “Shell,” which are different from the bouncy raps and melodic touches that dot later tracks like “Spin N Flip” and “Givenchy.” RUFFS never goes too deep into one sound; its colorful musical footnotes melt and pool like wax around a candle.

It’s thrilling to hear Mason rattle off schemes, but his raps aren’t technical just for the sake of it. Clever images and wordplay litter every song—he pulls a gun clip back with his thumb like the secret handshake from Hey Arnold! on “Zoomies” and, on “Shell,” remembers growing up “too broke to know what a break meant, but not enough to do a break-in.” There’s plenty of young-adult angst to go around, but it never feels juvenile. As he confides in love interests and homies and mourns innocence lost to early exposure to Glocks, Mason’s writing cracks the door to his personal life just wide enough to foster connection without giving away all the details.

A special relationship with dogs helps to flesh out his emotions. “Zoomies” compares his tendency to “run through this shit” to an overexcited pet’s burst of energy. On “333 / Atom,” he makes the connection more spiritual: “I pray to puppies ’cause I think they listen/They brought me pussy and paper and pistols.” As much an evolution of the bridge between rock and hip-hop established by groups like Korn as it is of the moody funhouses of Young Nudy or Lucki, Mason’s music shares the attentive ear and sharp focus of the animals he loves. “[Dogs] survive on loyalty. It’s for real death over dishonor,” he said in an interview last year. In Mason’s case, loyalty doesn’t mean fidelity to a single style so much as it means trusting that your skill and passion will carry your ambitions home. On RUFFS, his loyalty to his vision pays off.
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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.
Kenny Mason - RUFFS Music Album Reviews Kenny Mason - RUFFS Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 21, 2022 Rating: 5


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