Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Kid Ink: New Kid on the blot

Kid Ink
Kid Ink

Already pioneered by the catchy upbeat bounce of its hook-laden transatlantic hit single “Show Me” (featuring the vocals of global R&B superstar Chris Brown) “My Own Lane” currently represents the major-label album debut of tattooed LA rapper/producer Kid Ink. Whose infectious rap/sing delivery dominates the 18-track contemporary hip hop set alongside a host of guests ranging from the likes of upcoming R&B vocalists Elle Varner and August Alsina to such big-name modern-day rhymesmiths as Tyga, Wale, Pusha T, Meek Mill, ASAP Ferg and French Montana.

Indeed, boasting production input from such names as fellow Angelino Dijon “DJ Mustard” McFarlane, Timbaland protégé Danja and DZL, “My Own Lane” takes the listener through a diverse set of musical moods, highlights of which include the brassy, Earth, Wind & Fire-sampling “The Movement”; the sexually-driven bass-synth vibe of “Iz U Down”; the hook-laden Chris Brown-featuring groove of “Main Chick”; and the melodically undulating rap/R&B flavour of “No Miracles”.

Born Brian Todd Collins in Los Angeles, California on April 1, 1986, it was under the name Rockstar that Collins would in 2010 release his first mixtape “World Tour”. Which in turn would lead to local hip hop figurehead DJ Ill Will signing him to his independent label Tha Alumni Group. After which early 2011 would find Collins changing his stage name to Kid Ink and releasing his first mixtape (“Crash Landing”) under his new name, following which two further mixtapes (summer 2011’s “Daydreamer” and September 2011’s “Wheels Up”) would surface before the eventual June 2012 release of Ink’s first independent album “Up & Away” which peaked at a reasonably-impressive Number 20 on the US mainstream album chart.

Meanwhile, the November 2012 arrival of Collins’ fifth mixtape “Rocketshipshawty” would prove significant by it immediately preceding his January 2013 announcement that he had signed a deal with Sony’s RCA label, for whom his first release would be the May 2013 EP “Almost Home”.

… Which in turn pretty much brings us back to today. As a relaxed and chatty Kid Ink (who last year posed shirtless for animal rights organisation PETA’s edgy “Ink, Not Mink” campaign) relaxes with “Blues & Soul” Assistant Editor Pete Lewis over mid-afternoon drinks at Sony Music UK’s buzzing Kensington HQ to discuss his aforementioned new LP in addition to his upbringing in a socially-diverse LA.

Titling his new album “My Own Lane”

“With the name “My Own Lane” I’m basically saying that I’m going in my own DIRECTION - that I’m trying to represent my own thing and not really copy anybody else while at the same time trying to show and prove through this album exactly what my own thing IS. Because I’m not really a one-song kinda guy, I’m an album PROJECT kinda guy. So it’s only really when you listen to everything as a whole that you get a sense of what I’m truly ABOUT.”

What Kid wanted to achieve musically this time round

“Well, the fact I’m now with a major label does mean I have a bigger SOUND than before, in terms of things like the way the records are being mixed and mastered. Plus while I am still working with my old skool guys - ‘cause if it’s not broke don’t fix it - I am also now using some Platinum-selling producers TOO. Which is why, in addition to continuing to do what I’ve done to get me to his point, this time round I did want to show growth while at the same time defining Kid Ink as an artist to all those new eyes that are looking at me for the first TIME. You know, I wanted to show that I can spit, that I have good wordplay and good punchlines, and thirdly that I do have a pretty good ear for catchy hooks when it comes to the more radio-friendly and commercial side of things… So yeah, I guess I was basically just trying to bring all those things into one while at the same time making everyone aware of who I am as a person and where I’m FROM.”

The album “My Own Lane” is out now through RCA/Sony Music

TWITTER: Tell us what you think @BluesandSoul | @Kid_Ink | @RCA | @sonymusicuk ***If we favourite your Tweet, you get it added to the print issue.

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