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Kid Ink, Up & Away

Kid Ink’s got a lot to prove. Despite gracing the cover of this year’s XXL Freshmen issue—as well as releasing three well-received mixtapes (Crash Landing, Daydreamer and Wheels Up)— the Los Angeles native still has the arduous task of shaking the weight of naysayers and skeptics who tag him as unoriginal. That’s no biggie for the tatted MC, however—or, at less, he makes it seem that way, as he lets his talents shine on his debut indie release, Up & Away. “Don’t worry about me, bitch I came for the doubt,” Ink promptly affirms on the album’s intro “No One Left.”

On the 12-track release, he effectively displays his songmaker potential, and though he doesn’t mesmerize lyrically, sonically it gels. If the infectious single “Time Of Your Life” hasn’t become an eardrum fixture yet, then joints like the breezy “Is It You” or the head-spinning “Walk In the Club” and indelible “Lost In the Sauce” will. Aside from a few average joints (“Drippin’,” “Rumpshaker”), the album possesses a potent cohesion of stirring songs. On the chest-pumping, carefree anthem, “Neva Gave A Fuck,” the Alumni Music Group rapper coos the confidence of a champion—boasting, “Signing titties all night, still I won’t sign a deal”—and later shows there’s no need for an X-Ray to see what he’s made of on the reflective closer “Hell & Back.”

Backed by head-nodding production from the likes of Jahlil Beats, Cardiak, Ned Cameron and more, the indie LP exhibits why major labels have been courting the 2012 XXL Freshman. As he puts it on “Hell & Back,” “Long way to the top I could barely see the steps/Yeah they sleeping on me still, but I barely need the rest…” —Ralph Bristout (@XXLRalph)

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  • James Bond

    what the fuck how does this get a XL

    You guys are taking the piss

    • Kai

      Your high. Fuckin Kid Ink can go XL easily. Dis dhit is actually good. U probably listen to like weezy

  • Hannya

    I previewed this shit on ITunes and nothing stood out. It all sounded like generic radio bull. How this gets a higher rating than Stoned Immaculate is beyond me. The XXL review team needs help.

  • DatNigga

    ya’ll are fucking retarded, i wanna see you get this big. kid inks gonna be huge. #AlumniBatGang

    • Dynomutt

      Sure he is…..

      • EGH!

        Keep hating please lol

  • http://facebook.com breadup

    three mix tapes hot mix tapes in a year plus a fire LP videos to go wit everything kid ink did it he’s hot hands down

    • Unknown Persons EPE

      How scholarly of you, DatN***a.

  • SleazyJ

    I don’t see how this gets an XL, it sounds exactly like his other mixtapes. It sounds just like Daydreamer, etc.
    I hope Dizzy Wright’s Free SmokeOut Conversations gets better than this.
    This is mainstream rap, radio songs.

    • EGH!

      EXACTLY thats what his fans want! they don’t Kid INk to change from what he did on his mixtapes. keep hating! its making Kid Ink more famous whether you realize it or not haha

  • itsnothing

    “I hear em talkin, but we aint worried about that though” Keep hating people, numbers and rating don’t lie #AlumniBatGang

  • Lonnie_savage

    Curren$y gets an “L” and this garbage gets an “XL” . . . . . . . .

    • D

      XL???? F****N XL? Currensy got L and this shitty auto-tune, generic bullshit gets XL? you guys are idiot

      • http://twitter.com/YoungTerrell_ ĐѺPΞ , ĐѺPΞ SWAGG

        Yep.This shit is lame as fuck

  • Ikeepit1hunnit

    why dont the niggas that write on this ever agree with yall wack ass magazine writers . why is that ?

  • Streetiebaby

    Everybody “WANTS” to hear that REAL hip hop, but the fact of the matter is, at the end of the day, there aint no feedin your family off of your level of “RESPECT” that you have as an artist. Secondly, half the people complaining that REAL HIP HOP isn’t present anymore never support it when they actually DO hear it. If you don’t mess with his music, then KEEP IT MOVIN and stop hatin cause this guy is gettin it. This dude is on his grind right now. Respect.

  • Hawk

    As far as I’m concerned, Curren$y got outshined on the song that was HIS lead single, “What It Look Like,” by Wale. That’s why I didn’t even pick up the album. Individuality and bars make and break artists. Ink isn’t XL on the bars but he does have a sound he can call his own. Creativity and building a fan base are just as important as lyrics today.

  • Chrome P

    “unoriginal”?? they shoulda asked the “naysayers and skeptics” to list at least 3 rappers that sound like him.

  • jhwg624

    The album has sicks beats and give the kid props hes not signed to a major label and has a tight flow kinda reminds me of a young big sean

  • fuckkidink

    This nigga doesn’t even stand out. He sounds like a poor man’s Tyga. He’s garbage

  • Beast541

    This Shit goes a lot harder than any other rapper coming out now a days. #1 Album to sell on Itunes before it even came out. That probably means its a good album!

  • BossB****

    stop hatin, if u dnt like kid ink shut up n keep it movin, wat matters is tht he is appealing n has alot o fans. At the end of the day he still gettin paid. RESPECT .