Kid Ink Shows Potential On ‘My Own Lane’
Kid Ink shows he’s got potential…
Dropping an album in the dead of January is almost always risky. The move boded well for newbie A$AP Rocky, who saw his Long.Live.A$AP easily top the Billboard 200 Chart in 2013. The release of Kid Ink‘s sophomore album (his major label debut), My Own Lane, is riskier, dropping the first week of January.
Boding well in Kid Ink’s favor is the fact single “Show Me” is rising on the charts, and buzz single “Bad Ass” didn’t disappoint. The question is, is a rising single enough jumpstart success for Kid Ink? Only time and sales will tell. As an album, My Own Lane has plenty of bright spots, but isn’t devoid of missteps either. Ultimately, the good outweighs the bad.
“Hello World” is a fitting opener, sporting top-notch production, a jubilant sound, and confident rhymes. Ink asserts his certified status throughout, most aggressively on the first verse: “Echelon keep elevating, bunch of bitches, hella haters / add them up while I just keep it 100,
“Echelon keep elevating, bunch of b*tches, hella haters / add them up while I just keep it 100, exclamated…”
Kid Ink possesses enough swagger to deliver, regardless of cockiness.
“The Movement” finds him flexing, supported by an Earth, Wind & Fire sample (“Let Your Feelings Show”). Ink conveys his feelings, delivering inspired rhymes atop brassy horns and golden strings. “See, I know you can feel the movement/Pull up, truck big as a mover, ain’t nowhere to park / backyard big as an amusement park / come through lookin’ like the millionaire march / My bad, I just had to brag one time…” Only once – sheesh! “The Movement” is moving through – in an indulgent sort of way.
“See, I know you can feel the movement/Pull up, truck big as a mover, ain’t nowhere to park / backyard big as an amusement park / come through lookin’ like the millionaire march / My bad, I just had to brag one time…”
Only once there Kid? “The Movement” moves through, if in indulgent fashion.
“Show Me” brings Chris Brown aboard, who is in “lover-man” mode, though, he can’t seem to put all the pieces together: “You remind me of something / but I don’t know what it is…girl you gotta show me.” Kid Ink isn’t outshined in the least:
“Misses, you got my full attention / listen, let go of the tension / If I got a minute, I’ll put your bad ass in detention…”
“Detention” don’t have nothing on the follow-up track! With naughtiness already firmly planted in Ink’s mind, he gets plumb nasty with Tyga on “Iz U Down.” The desires of Kid Ink’s heart – a threesome. As many times as the ménage à trois has been used in rap over the years, “Iz U Down” is yet another fine example.
“We Just Came To Party,” featuring August Alsina, states the obvious. The results remain above par if a shade below surefire hits. Still, Ink’s pop-raps are effective for the most part, with the hook serving as the track’s saving grace. The proceeding “Main Chick”, a second Chris Brown collaboration, is good, but not elite. Still, Ink has some notable rhymes:
“What, just keep it on the hush / pocketful of trees, don’t beat around the bush / walk on green, I can even hear the putt / K.O. shawty when I hit her with a punch line…”
Things improve on “No Option” featuring King Los, which features some mean punchlines. One of the preeminent cuts of My Own Lane arrives with the Pusha T collaboration “Murda,” where Kid Ink and Pusha slay lyrically. The hook matches the title with its ‘in-your-face’ sentiment:
“You ain’t innocent at all / it’s, it’s f*cking murder / shots in the burner / more shots in the burner.”
Pusha T is definitely on autopilot:
“No angels allowed / baby you ain’t innocent, caught up in that whirlwind / Molly in the evening, girls kissing girls, and / I ain’t here to judge at all, tryna get my twirl in / benefits of f*cking with ‘em, shitting on your girlfriends.”
Few cuts match the intensity of “Murda.”
After “Murda,” Kid Ink takes a back step. “Rollin” sounds too cliché, rivaling Tyga’s popular, if ‘dumb’ hits (“Rack City” or “Faded”). “Tattoo of My Name” sports sick production and an excellent grinding tempo, but comes off absurd:
“I know it’s a different kind of love but ain’t nothing like a / tattoo of my name on you / it’s a different kind of trust when I see you got that / tattoo of my name, tattoo of my name on you.”
“No Miracles” gives My Own Lane a much-need injection of energy and substance. Elle Varner delivers masterfully on the uplifting hook, as does Ink and Machine Gun Kelly on the verses. The aforementioned hook sums up “No Miracles” best: “I never waited on a miracle / there ain’t no miracles ‘round here…I’m not afraid of the impossible / there ain’t impossible ‘round here.” Instead of investing his rhymes into shallowness, Ink goes personal, which is a sound move. “No Miracles” is the last gigantic statement of the effort. “
“I never waited on a miracle / there ain’t no miracles ‘round here…I’m not afraid of the impossible / there ain’t impossible ‘round here.”
Instead of investing his rhymes into shallowness, Ink goes personal, which is a sound move. “No Miracles” is the last gigantic statement of the effort.
“I Don’t Care” is slickly produced, but even Maejor Ali’s superb falsetto couldn’t make it a standout. Closer “More Than A King” is respectable, but not necessarily a masterpiece. Some editions of the album add bonus cuts, with the best bonus track being “Bad Ass,” featuring Meek Mill and Wale.
Overall, My Own Lane is a solid album with enough captivating tracks to make it worthwhile. The effort has its flaws, specifically when Kid Ink settles for clichés. When Kid Ink is on his game, however, he’s lethal.
Gems: “The Movement,” “Show Me,” “Iz U Down,” “Murda,” “No Miracles” & “Bad Ass”
Kid Ink • My Own Lane • RCA • US Release: 1.7.14