When Ken Rebel’s new album Indicted Mind came up on my Twitter feed I had high expectations. Maybe it was the cover art. Perhaps it was the tracklist which featured Nessly, Jazz Cartier, Rome Fortune and Lil Yachty. I try not to predict what a project or song sounds like based just off of names, artwork or hype, but I occasionally slip. This was one of those times.
But Ken Rebel didn’t need the features. He didn’t need the creative artwork. His album stands on it’s own because it sounds really fucking good. Case closed. One of my recent pet peeves is when various music blogs try to connect a city’s “sound” with an artist (which I have done in the past too, no writer is perfect.) It’s not applicable to most artists, but with Ken, it’s different. In the best way possible, Ken is classic New York. His music, and most of the music on this album sounds gritty, grimy, and raw. THIS is an artist worthy of comparing to NY hip hop of the 90’s.
Indicted Minds is the whole package. It stays interesting throughout; there is never a dull moment. He can pull of a slow and somber track like Twenty88 with ease, but also murder an 808 Mafia beat a la Day ‘N’ Nite. The collaboration with Lil Yachty sounds effortless; blissful. The other “big name” artists do their thing, but it is Ken’s ability to craft an auditory wonderland that will keep this album in regular rotation.