What a difference a year can make. After signing his deal with RCA, Kid Ink released his major label debut album My Own Lane and nothing has been the same. Years prior Ink was one of the hardest working indie artists, releasing an album and five mixtapes. What My Own Lane did for the West Coast MC was turn him into a household name. The two biggest singles off the album were undoubtedly "Main Chick" and "Show Me," both featuring Chris Brown with production from DJ Mustard. CB and Ink—who some say are the same person (jokingly)—plus Mustard have amazing musical chemistry as a trio. "Main Chick" peaked at No. 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is certified Gold, selling more than 500,000 singles. "Show Me," his biggest hit to date, peaked at No. 13 on the Hot 100 and was certified double platinum, selling more than two million singles. "Show Me" broke a Billboard record by spending 18 consecutive weeks at the No. 1 spot on the Rap Airplay charts, beating out former record holder Juvenile (17 weeks) with his 1999 hood classic, “Back That Thang Up.” Those two singles propelled My Own Lane to debut at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.

But now he's back, and Kid Ink held a private listening party last night (Jan. 21) at the famous Jungle City Studio in New York City. Sitting down with his high school sweet heart Asiah Azante, DJ Ill Will, between RCA executives and associates, he rolled blunt after blunt while vibing out to tunes from his upcoming album Full Speed, due out Feb. 3. Before the event began, the tatted up MC thanked all the writers and tastemakers for coming out and voiced how hard he worked on the album. He rapped, word-for-word, every song played from Full Speed. Between every other song, Shaheem Reid, the host for the night, asked Ink questions about the album and how the process was. "I want to show people my growth," Ink said. "I always record music but since I've been on the road for so long, I have to say Full Speed took me two months to make." Full Speed boasts tons of potential singles and super catchy songwriting, something the "Iz U Down" rapper can harness on the way to a solid career.

“It was to the point where I was recording five songs a session,” Kid Ink told XXL in our August/September 2014 issue. “I like to go in and record freely and know that I can have any type of song no matter what the tempo is and just handle that. But it was to the point where we were hitting deadlines and if we wanted a single release at this time or an album release at this time, we needed it by this time. So I was focused on just making a single, which meant that sometimes music got forced and sometimes you would feel like you were just doing something to make a single and you were losing your creativity. But it got to a point where, after hitting a stressing point, you just blacked out and went right back and reverted to the starting point, and once I stopped caring about it, I think it became easier.”

While being served a slew of empanadas and sipping Ciroc, XXL took some notes on Ink's Full Speed. Here’s what you need to know. —Emmanuel C.M.

Kid Ink's "Be Real" featuring Dej Loaf is fire
"Be Real" is fire. It's both infectious and as appealing as "Show Me" and "Main Chick," with Dej Loaf supplying another hook that you won't be able to forget. Is she the new Queen of the hook game? It's probably too early to tell but Ink was smart to include her on "Be Real." Even though it's super catchy, that doesn't mean it's not hard. The track thumps and will be a mainstay in your party playlist.

Full Speed has a lot of potential singles
The album as a whole has a ton of hits. Looking at the tracklist, you can make a argument that most of them have radio potential. "Body Language," the album's first single, already charted on the Hot 100 at No. 72. "Like A Hot Boyy" featuring Young Thug and Bricc Baby Shitro is starting to make its rounds. Also his new collab with Chris Brown titled "Hotel" is already playing in clubs and that was just leaked a week and a half ago. Other songs to look out for are "Faster," "Dolo" featuring R. Kelly and "Every City We Go" featuring Migos. The latter is a different sound you'd never expect from the artists but will instantly catch your ear.

Kid Ink and Chris Brown need a collaborative mixtape ASAP
I mean, c'mon. After "Show Me," "Main Chick" and now "Hotel" it's pretty clear these two tatted up dudes need to do a whole project together. Their chemistry on wax just fits each other.

It's an improvement on My Own Lane
Kid Ink has found his sound and—for lack of better words—his lane. With his second album under RCA he's taken the next step by being a multi-genre MC. In his interview with Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning show, the L.A. native said it best: "I just go and let the music breathe and let it go to who it goes to." Full Speed conveys that, providing different songs that have genre crossing potential.

Kid Ink is really into racing electric RC cars
If you watched part one of Ink's tour documentary, you get to see that RCs are very important to him. At the listening he had two cars and began racing it. Here's a pic below.

Kid Ink Listening

Related: Kid Ink Featuring Chris Brown “Hotel”
Kid Ink “Ready 4 War”
Kid Ink “Blunted”
Kid Ink Plays The Villain In “Cool Back” Video
Kid Ink Is Dropping His New Album ‘Full Speed’ February 3

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