It’s not enough for hip-hop to sound good anymore (if it ever was); you need to brings something besides random sounds to the table to make it worth listening to you instead of just copping the instrumental.  Kim does just that by bringing heat and good beats.

We’ll highlight what stood out to us the most in our first listen; the lyrics.  It seems to be his style (based on listening this and some of his previous tracks) to be a little more subtle with his wordplay and not hitting you in the face with the punchline.  This has an interesting effect on the listener because, at times, it dawns on you what he said or the connections he’s making between lines don’t dawn on you until they have passed and the song and you are hitting the back button to check what you may have missed.

His flow reminded us a little of Kanye at times, but no so much that it sounded like he was biting or anything; just that he might be a fan was influenced by him.  He also has an okay singing voice based on what he does with the few interludes that he puts into tracks.  There is also a nice variation of flow from track to track, especially on some of the slower ones, that keep things from getting monotonous and the listener from tuning out halfway through.  He has a vocal quality that can be hard to describe because he bounces rather easily from a smooth tone to a gruff one at the drop of a beat and it gives good emphasis in all the right places.

The production on the set tends to trend towards mid-tempo, but that doesn’t mean the songs lack energy.  Kim provides the pace through his flow, often making the songs feel a little faster than they actually are.  This is especially true of a track like Block 4, which is surprising slow when it comes to the beat but both he and Los do a good job of making it a head-nodder.  Only Contagious drags and that’s primarily because he does more singing on it that any other track he seems to be sticking with the underlying melody more.

This may not be his first time to the playground, but we hope he gets more shine.  This is more than a solid and enjoyable album.

Our favorite tracks are Rocks & Waves, Rooftops, Block 4, and My Thang.  The most skippable tracks are SpottieOttieDopest and Contagious.

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