Daily Deuce: Kid Ink’s Full Speed Highlights

Brought to you by Young Thug and Dej Loaf
By    March 18, 2015


Evan Nabavian writes twice a day 

When a rap album in 2015 yields exactly two good songs, are they happy accidents? Are they known anomalies? Are the two good songs the work of a writer, producer, or A&R who would record ten more good songs if only the powers that be would let him? My editor suggested that it has always been like this, that an album in the hallowed early 90s had the same hit percentage as the modern iTunes-Spotify opus. No, that can’t be true. Well, maybe. I dunno.

Kid Ink’s Full Speed album has precisely two good songs on it. The credits make apparent a strategy of drawing on almost every new and exciting talent in pop rap today: Tinashe, Dej Loaf, Migos, Young Thug, DJ Dahi, DJ Mustard, and Metro Boomin. Bobby Shmurda and Rae Sremmurd must have been outside the budget (or incarcerated, in the case of the former). The tactic is not new or even unique to music, but the result on Full Speed is a 28-year-old rapper without his own voice cynically grasping at relevance.


But none of this matters. In 2015, you can consume music piecemeal. The first of two songs you should care about is “Like a Hott Boy” with Young Thug and Bricc Baby Shitro (fka MPA Shitro). Thugger tempers the wilder aspects of his cadence for a performance that the casual listener can appreciate. The quietly triumphant track calls for restraint, so Young Thug sings a relatively dulcet hook. It’s a big look for him, showing that he can helm a radio song with broader appeal without sacrificing too much of what made him Man of the Year in 2014. The second song is “Be Real,” which is another catchy single on Dej Loaf’s resume. She’s a perfect match for the next-level Mustard banger; she gives the bouncy bass and claps a sugary coating just like Tinashe did on “2 On.” On both songs, Kid Ink is harmless, competent, and even likeable as a less self-serious Drake or another shade of Tyga. But his album succeeds only when better rappers sing the hooks.

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