When I first heard Ken Carson’s album, “X” I was just like, “whatever, it’s another typical rage album that is trying to be like everything else.” Then I kept listening. I listened some more, and the flip switched.
First, if it sounds good, who cares if it sounds similar to the likes of Playboi Carti or Yeat (which it doesn’t). Second, back in the day Travis Scott took influences from Kanye West and Kid Cudi and still attracted a fanbase that has stuck with him to this day, and now he is one of the biggest artists in the world. Third, it’s simply fun music to listen to. Finally, I had to experience it myself and see how it sounded in its natural habitat — concerts.
Hearing songs like “MDMA” with Opium counterpart Destroy Lonely or "PDBMH" at his listening party and observing how the crowd reacted left me speechless. A couple weeks later, he put on one of the most memorable performances at Rolling Loud Miami and really proved me wrong. I now have to admit that it’s a really good album.
“New” is one of my favorite tracks, as these earworm synthesizers fly around the headphones and the kick and 808 combination is a different level of hard-hitting. “Go” has one of the catchiest melodies in all of Ken Carson’s catalog with this really simple four note loop that is entrancing while he raps in this raspier voice that makes for a great experience. Other tracks such as “Freestyle 1,” “Freestyle 2, and “Delinquent” featuring Opium’s newly acquired Homxcide Gang.
So yes, this album was a grower, and I’m glad. I don’t want to like those boomers that refuse to adapt to forward thinking music, and “X” is just that — music that is meant for shows and a good escape from the hardships of life.