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KenSon & Backspacez-Law Of Demand EP (Review by Captain Catnip/Rico Snacks/WardenOfSuperjail)
KENSON & BACKSPACEZ-LAW OF DEMAND EP REVIEW
KenSon is a Rap Genius rapper hailing from Berkeley, CA (my home city boiiiii) who linked up with NY producer BackSpacez (remembered on RG for his “A Dying Culture” mixtape) to put together this 8-track tape. Since it’s already receiving a little attention from outside sources I thought I’d hop on the RapGenius album review bandwagon for this.
You can get that shit over here.
I may have very little to say about one track and a long-ass paragraph about the next. It’s how I do, it’s how I am. Starting off:
1) Tha Breakdown: First thought I’m pleasantly surprised that the tape didn’t start with some jackass’s vocal sample. Despite the very East Coast boom-bap production the overall track sounds very “Bay Area” to me, like some ‘90’s Bay shit. I compared some of dude’s other work to Hieroglyphics and that holds very true here, this track is like Hieroglyphics with a lot more focus on ad-libs (not a bad thing, especially since we’re pretty much in the era of ad-lib rap). I like a lot of the lines in here too-“Tryna get a piece of this Americana apple pie”, that isn’t too much more than a combination of some idioms but it’s well-executed. KenSon’s goin’ dumb with the singing too. My only criticism is that sometimes the ad-libs do actually overwhelm the actual lyrics, making what exactly dude’s saying difficult to determine. That and I think I’d like it better with at least a lil bit of an outro. But overall, damn good start to a tape, nothing about it makes me feel like “I don’t wanna listen to the rest of this shit” the way some intros do.
2) Give Me Now: This was one of the singles off the tape…me personally I consciously avoid listening to RG rappers unless they’re people I get to know through Editor Chat or some shit (#nepotism) so this is my first time hearing it. This beat is smooth as fuck. Got my head noddin’ immediately. To be honest, I didn’t even feel like I was in the mood for braggadocio music when I started this so when I figured out that this was just gonna be more flexing a part of me was like “I really hope the whole tape isn’t just this.” That said, I ain’t bored with all that just yet. The yelling of “biiiiitch!” at the end of the first verse definitely made me miss my Oakland patnas. Overall lyrically most of this stuff is so Bay that I just can’t not dislike it. I like the hook on this one too. KenSon definitely knows how to put together a full song.
3) Motherless Child: The only track I heard off this project before it had dropped. I don’t have as much to say about this but I fucks widdit. The beat doesn’t quite make me go “Damn, that boy Backspacez leveled up for no reason” the way the last 2 did but it’s still not a whack beat. I already said shit sounds like Hieroglyphics…well…this sounds a lot like Hieroglyphics. KenSon sounds like A-Plus on this one to me. Another dope hook, shit lowkey stays stuck in my head. “Cause the wolves don’t care, they just wanna eat…and the tricks don’t care, they just wanna treat…”
4) Old School: This track title made me nervous at first. I’m not much into anything modern that tries overmuch to be old school, y’all know that about me. Lucky, I was not disappointed by this track at all. The flow and delivery carry the track really well-which isn’t to front on the lyrics at all. Like I’ve said before, I’m from Berkeley, so I love all the shoutouts Berkeley gets in here. And I like the recurring message of unity between coasts on this one. Coastal beef always struck me as incredibly stupid.
5) Once Again: I feel like there’s more goin’ on in this song than I’m getting on one listen. But that’s cool, I’m just vibin’ out noddin’ my head to the beat and appreciating the lyrics that stand out to me. The thing about this tape I really like is that no bars on here hit me like “Ehhh, that’s stupid” or even “That was just dude trying too hard.” I don’t think I’m catching every bar but every bar that I catch I like.
6) You Can Run: What’s up with the vocal samples on the hook? Sound a little bit offbeat to me. This ain’t a bad song necessarily but it’s my least favorite on the tape. I do kinda wish more songs on here felt like they were about something, you know? It’s a tape of cool songs to kick back and smoke to. I’m not mad at that, but I think KenSon could rap off concepts and shit, make songs that are more about shit, you know? Just a thought.
7) Turnt Up: What? Is this…Backspacez making a trap beat? Weird. I can’t really listen to the beat well enough to break it down over the rapping but it’s a tight beat. I see this song for what it is, some shit to get turnt up to. Would definitely put this on slap with my patnas and dance around somebody’s apartment on a Friday afternoon. Two fun facts: This is the shortest track on the tape, and this is the only song on here that I’ve heard a corny bar on (“I’m a ruler like the thing with the inches…” I can’t even trip though cause that is literally the only bar on here that I’ve heard and thought “that’s kinda weak”)
8) Organized Madness: Ooooh damn, ended this one with some smooth shit. KenSon’s flowin’ like a mufucka over this funk beat, more shit that brings me back to my own Bay Area routes. This is also the only track on here with a feature, KenSon’s homie Noah Boa comes through on the second verse. He’s pretty good. A strong ender to the EP.
OVERALL RATING: 8/10
Production pretty much on point, lyrics on point, good sense of song structure across the board, gets a liiiiitle bit repetitive since it’s a whole tape of chilling music. Will definitely listen to these again, probably just not all at the same time.
Whooo! First review. I must say, this is a good review. Actually gives real (and valid) criticisms… about You Can Run, I don’t have turntables so I couldn’t scratch along to the beat, I had to trigger the vocal sample on my Maschine, so naturally it wasn’t really that on beat, but I was satisfied with it being a little offbeat.
Lol, for like three days I had a little phase where I was obsessed with making trap beats, i have like 10 unused that I’ll use one day.
I really appreciate the review dude!
bump, come one people dude worked hard on this review
^You are appreciated my friend.
They’ll come around tomorrow, its late on a Thursday nite, nobodys on
I’ll be honest, I loved almost every single song. The only one that I wasn’t feeling as much as the others was “Tha Breakdown”, but overall this was quality music. It’s easy to see that you both worked your behinds off, and it definitely shows throughout the project. You’re beats are off the chain too.
Straight up, awesome review. I’m glad you had an opinion on the “ruler, like the thing with the inches” line, cuz I didn’t to the point where I was like “Fuck it, I'ma just say it.” Also, this is probably my third time hearing that I (and my crew) sound like Hiero. Time to accept it.
Glad you enjoyed our project man. Lots of hard work and lots of love went into this one. I’m proud of the end result.
Hey KenSon, how long have you been rapping? You’re really dope.
@kenson ayy hope that didn’t get annoying…I get compared to Captain Murphy all the time and I’m kinda getting sick of it TBH. Don’t mean to get wearisome with the comparisons, I know how wearisome comparisons can be.
im jelous i wish you reviews my EP
@WardenOfSuperjail Nah it’s good. Being compared to some legends is kinda nice.
Haha, listen to “Synergy” by KenSon (On a Dying Culture) and listen to how Souls of Mischief esque that shit sounds
@Bless since about ‘09 I think. It’s kinda fuzzy when I started but I know I’ve been at it consistently for a while.