Kenny Mason Makes Hip-Hop and Alt-Rock Cohesive on 'Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut'

Kenny Mason Makes Hip-Hop and Alt-Rock Cohesive on 'Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut'
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Kenny Mason's hometown of Atlanta has played a pivotal role in hip-hop culture that is impossible to understate. For the better part of 20 years, the city's scene has provided wave after wave of new artists and superstars who've brought with them new sounds and ideas, impacting the entire genre with their creativity and innovation. Mason embodies that eclectic and forward-thinking spirit, forging his own diverse sound on his latest LP, Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut.

Though the album's title might make it seem like this is a deluxe version of 2020's Angelic Hoodrat, it's not. This is a completely new album that builds on the strengths of its predecessor, with Mason refining his sound further, resulting in the project having a much more cohesive and consistent feel throughout. Even as he fuses southern hip-hop with elements of punk and alternative rock, he's struck a balance so strong that all of the songs fit together neatly.

Mason is so comfortable with the sonic duality that he presents that he can deliver a soulful, horn-laden banger like the Freddie Gibbs-assisted "Much Money" and follow it with a full-fledged pop-punk jam like "Play Ball" with relative ease. It's an immensely impressive feat — these could convincingly be songs by two different artists in separate genres, but the album is so well-sequenced that they make sense back-to-back.

While that sequencing does play a big part in the success of this album's execution, it's Mason's ability to comfortably perform on each and every instrumental on this project that really ties these songs together. He's just as at home delivering a densely layered and multi-syllabic verse drenched in Lil Wayne-levels of charisma as he is channelling Nirvana in this album's more rock-leaning moments. On top of that, his songwriting ability doesn't falter as he switches genres, remaining consistent throughout most of the album.

Whether rapping or singing, Mason's lyrics are his strongest suit, tackling topics like religion, racism, systematic inequality and his observations on life in Atlanta. A lot of these songs have an undeniable sense of rage and sadness pervading through their lyrics, and these emotions are perfectly accented and emphasized by Mason's delivery and the soundscape that he's created for himself. He knows what he wants to say and exactly how to present it to make it as impactful as possible.

It's this clear and extremely well-executed vision that Mason has that makes Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut so impressive, especially so early in his career. By playing with the duality present in his fusion of southern hip-hop and alternative rock, Kenny Mason has given his music a singular sound that makes him unique and exciting. (Independent)