*DON'T FORGET TO SCROLL DOWN TO READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH KENNY*
Soul Mates, I gotta really put you on to this Atlanta born and raised phenomenon known as Kenny Mason. It is to my belief that he's about to skyrocket up the billboard charts with the release of his latest album, Angelic Hoodrat and hit single, Hit. A 14 song masterpiece built up of powerful lyrics, strong beats and the blurring lines of genres like Rap, Rock and R&B. Pinky swear this album deserves to be blasted through your speakers.
I think the part that shook me the most about Mason's music was how versatile his flow and tone is. He moves easily through each beat, both slow and quick. When the genre switch ups start happening, he morphs into this different person that holds his own against the strong instrumentals that play. Electric guitar and heavy drums to synths and beats, this artist is like a chameleon. He's never caught off guard! In a recent DJ Booth interview, Booth himself says that "rappers channeling their rock influences aren't always a seamless transition, but for Kenny Mason, it's as seamless as a gear shift". That description couldn't be more on point. Kenny is one of the smoothest rappers on the come up. A really bomb example of this superpower Mason seems to manifest is in his song Metal Wings. Bro, when I tell you I was SHOOK at the way his voice blends so well with the heavy metal vibe of the song, and then all of a sudden he switches it up and gives me pop vibes and then to R&B and back to heavy metal like oh my god, where did they find him??
My favorite song of all time off this album is Chevron. Sis, the vibe of this song goes so hard and its just such a bop that I can easily get stuck in my head. This is the type of song that makes me wanna drive to the beach blasting this through my speakers and have the roof top down. Slow motion, glitter, you see my vision of a better life, that hot girl carefree type of summer, right?
His hit single, Hit, is that success and glory type that you play up in the club on the best day your life. Like, VIP sections with bottles for days. He hypes himself up on his successes and literally expresses like, oh shit we did that and now we got money to spend and this music thing is really working out (not that he ever doubted himself before). He's a confident dude, and this song states that clearly and proudly.
Now by this point I'm already a big fan. But if you guys know me already, you know that the biggest thing that draws me to an artist is their use of lyrics. I swear he was a famous poet in a past life. This album . . . his words . . . the passion behind them and the drive he clearly shows with every song helps open up my imagination and evokes my own passions and demons. They challenge the things I expect him to say, and kind of put me in his own world and whatever mindset he was in when he was writing them. His first song off the album, Firestarter, gives the concept of Kenny speaking on his demands for respect for his work ethic and personal life. "Sorry mama I cannot show weakness" is him saying mom, I know you think I work too much and maybe you're scared I might fail but I'm not weak and I got this. The track U in a Gang // Exxon shows how proud he is from where he's from and the line "I wear your hammy downs, when they was your hammy downs and I don't even like them but imma rock them to make you proud". It makes me damn proud of where I come from, and makes me wanna rep everything and anything I can to show that type of appreciation. In our interview, he also revealed that this song was also a way for him to express how he was feeling after finding out that one of his bros was part of a gang. Chevron, has this tough flow about him flexing, basically pumping' out lyrics like "I'm on level two, levitate over you" and "Got more dollars than followers" like hello?? Gets me too my core and I be imagining myself up on the roof of a cute ass sports car making it rain.
Look, all I gotta say is, if you're not listening to Kenny Mason's music, what are you really doing? You want something fresh and defying to the regular music you hear on the radio? Throw some Angelic Hoodrat on the speakers, jam out and thank me later. Period.
KENNY MASON INTERVIEW
Q: Can you break down the concept of the album for me? What's the story you're trying to tell? Where there any challenges, or any songs your struggled to write/record?
A: "The overall concept or the idea of the project was just the duality of repping myself, any and everybody, and definitely the people that come from where I come from. I think everybody has a ying and a yang to them and how they think and how they approach things and deal with trauma and how they deal with different things. Overall, it's to help anyone who has an internal conflict within themselves. Hoping that it helps everybody with me just being honest about it.
Luckily. nah. I've been making music and writing for a long time. The process, I'm used to it already and comfortable with writing. The challenge, I feel like, was more about getting the production right and figuring out how things group. The lyrics were easy 'cause I was just being honest about my life and just, you know, talking about stuff I've been through. Ive never had a challenge doing that".
Q: I watched your interview with Pigeons and Planes, and I thought it was incredibly wholesome how close and supportive your group of friends are to you. Do you guys all work together on your music and artistry?
A: "My friends, the folks around me, my people, they probably the most important piece of life. My artistry, besides myself. I went through all my experiences with them. Being with them and also being there for their own experiences made me the man that I am. Also made me the artist I am. I wanted to make music for them and help them deal with stuff that they was going through. I figured if I could make music that they liked, the world would like it to. They were good to help test out the music I made. The rock stuff, you know it's not always the stuff they were listening to. I wanted to make sure it was god enough for them to like. I knew that if I could get them to like this song with a texture they weren't totally familiar with, I could get other people to like it too".
(Q: So you gonna take them to the top with you huh?)
"Oh yeah. You know a lot of my friends rap too and they are incredible artists. They are just as driven with their art as I am. We finna have this sowed up bruh".
(Q: would you ever want to have like a collaborative album with them?)
A: "Absolutely, 100%! You know like, they wanna out rap me and stuff too, so it'll be fun".
Q: One of the songs that really caught my attention was U In a Gang // Exxon. Can you explain the vision and message behind this one?
A: "That's definitely the most, you know how you talked about how my friends influence my music, thats 100% true in this. Its about me discovering that one of my partners was in a street gang. It wasn't explained to me. I have family members that are gan bangers and I have cousins who did the same, so I am used to being around it. So you know my home boy, when I heard about him getting into that life style, it hit me in a way where I didn't know how to talk to him about this. Cause you know, I know a lot of family members who died from being like that, cause they felt they had a certain kind of duty, like a level of pride to living like that. I didn't wanna see that happen to him and I didn't know how to talk to him about that. We talked about it here and there, but I think me making that song really explained all the way how I felt. I think that it helped put it into perspective. Like, if it was me in his shoes and felt like joining into that kinda organization, it may have given me a certain level of comfort for joining. I wrote the song to get a better understanding so I could understand him more".
Q: What's some advice you can give to other aspiring artists in Atlanta trying to make it?
A: "One thing all artists should be is to be honest with who they are and what they like, like the type of music they like to make. I think so many people make music, especially artists in Atlanta there are so many rappers and artists around here, it gotta be like so many of them trying to join the rap race. I think the best way to do it is to get out of the race and just, you know, be yourself. 'Cause for me and my experiences, when I stopped trying to make songs for the club or for the parties, and I stopped trying to rap better than everybody, cause ya know I was trying to be better than Kendrick and J Cole, I wanted to be the best rapper. When I started making songs about my family and about my life and I started getting into the other music I liked, like the Pixies, and I started gaining more traction and people started noticing. I think that's what's gonna happen to anybody who chooses to be honest and real with their music".
Q: If you could describe music with one word, what would it be and why?
A: "Hm . . . that's a really good and hard question. Imma say electricity. That's what music gives me. There have definitely been times where I've done shows where nobody knows me and I feel this vibe. I don't know how to explain it so I'm just gonna tell you about a specific time. Right before Rolling Loud last year, I was doing these local shows in Atlanta. It was this scene of people I've never performed for before, like that artsy college types I ain't never did no show with these types of people. Eclectic and expressive kids. It had to be 150 of them in this small ass room. You know, everybody knows imma do Hit cause I've been performing it so much. So I did Metal wings and Pretty Thoughts back to back. I remember when Pretty Thoughts started off, like with the chords and it was a rough demo so it sounded like this ugly mess. But the riff went off and I started singing it, and then everybody started looking and coming closer to the stage and shit. And I saw people's eyes light up. Then, when the beat dropped, everybody started going crazy and it was like a chain reaction. And you know like the current was passing through people. It was passing through me, and then into everyone else. And then the chorus started and everybody when crazy and it was the biggest mosh-pit I've ever seen and they were all throwing themselves at each other. So yeah, I would definitely say electricity".