Ken Car$on – “X” review

This is the sophomore album from Atlanta rapper Ken Car$on. Breaking out in the SoundCloud scene & becoming a protege of Playboi Carti as one of the first artists to sign to the latter’s newly founded Opium label, he would go on to drop a total of 5 EPs prior to his full-length debut Project X last summer. But as he & Destroy Lonely gear up to hit the road next month, Ken’s re-emerging in the form of X.

The intro kicks off the album with some Atari-like synths & rattling hi-hats letting y’all know he ain’t stupid whereas “New” works in some rage beats to show off all the shit he has now. “Gems” stays in hypertrap territory talking about his evolution from Teen X to X Man, but then “Nobody” goes into a bassier direction confession all that he really needs is the bread & nothing else.

Meanwhile on “Go”, we have Ken coming through with an energetic ballad about running all your shit up just before Destroy Lonely tags along for the rage-induced “MDMA” flexing their wealth. The title track continues to bury the Teen X persona deeper into the ground over some bombastic production just before “P.D.B.M.H. (Please Don’t Blow My High)” has a more uptempo flare to it asking not to blow his high as the title suggests.

The somewhat tropical vibe of “Money Hunt” is really cool as he expresses his joy of everything in his life going up while the blobby “South Beach” lets everyone know that he’s a real one. “Goin’ Schitz” psychedelically describes a bitch feeling of ecstasy while “Same Thing” has some incredibly dancy grooves to it talking about pulling up on you & your gang.

Following that, “Freestyle 1” dismisses any kind of discussion that doesn’t involve money keeping it in hypertrap turf prior to the F1LTHY-produced “Freestyle 2” perfectly picking up whether the predecessor left off talking about how you shouldn’t have fucked with his crew. “Fuk 12” is a brief yet chaotic middle finger to the feds & Destroy Lonely returns yet again for “Murda Musik”, which goes 10x rawer than “MDMA” was.

The Homixide Gang come into the picture for the quasi-mystic “Delinquent” confessing they get high until they can’t think straight while the song “Get Rich or Die” gives off a futuristically fresh aesthetic to the instrumental talking about talking about going on vacation. The penultimate track “Turn Up” is of course a synth-laced riot starter & “The End” closes out the album with some poppy undertones calling out an ex for being unfaithful.

Project X showed a lot of room for growth in Ken & now that we got X, I think it has to be the one of the best rage albums I’ve heard all year so far right behind Fallen Raven & 2 Alivë of course. The production is a little bit better than the offering we got a few years ago & I’d actually have to say Destroy Lonely is my favorite Opium signee now that he just signed to the label a few months back, but Ken really shows some admirable maturity as well.

Score: 3.5/5

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