Ken Rebel – R.E.B.E.L [Revolution Exists Behind Every Leader] (Mixtape Review)
“Disrespectful” (previous review)
R.E.B.E.L [Revolution Exists Behind Every Leader] (listen/download)
Ken Rebel finally got around to dropping his much anticipated debut mixtape last month. R.E.B.E.L [Revolution Exists Behind Every Leader] contains a total of 20 tracks with guest appearances from artists like: Emani, Jedi-P, Big Vic’k, and more. The tape has garnered some positive attention from various media sources and fans alike. Ken promises it’s a diverse listen and the beginning of his efforts to give the Hip-Hop game a little makeover. Let’s see how he did after the break.
This is the very first song on the tape. The production here is slick. It entails a dark core, slowed down tempo, eerie secondary elements, and a deliberate vibe. There is no hook used on this cut. Instead there are short breaks in between verses where Ken explains his definition of “rebel life.” The verses are on the up-and-up. Ken brings an ever changing flow, coarse wordplay, and kosher rhymes. He truly embodies the nature of the track. A few lines worth quoting are: “Lights, camera, and action. Mo money, mo problems. Got more b—hes, need more condoms. It’s either be at the top or the bottom. Kenny collecting them dividends. Preach, preach like reverends. Party hardy with the best of the them. (…) Chrome bezzles make a n—a wanna ride me. Keep a bad b—h beside me. Don’t watch me. N—a trying to clock my flow. F–k a few white freak hoes. They don’t know about Rebel. N—a put the pedal to the metal.” Those bars have a strong hood savvy essence to them. Towards the end of the record, there is a clip from philosopher Alan Watts courtesy of his discussion on the axis of Tao. It is very interesting. As a whole, this was a standout way to bring listeners into the project.
“Mixed Emotions” F/ Emani
The production here is adroit. It is made up of: a consistent bass, an energetic rhythm, components with an old school Hip-Hop flair, and an informal vibe. The hook is precise. Emani contributes airy vocals and appreciative lyrics. The verses are of a suitable quality. Ken exhibits a dedicated flow, gruff wordplay, and felicitous rhymes. He takes part in a discourse that revolves around his feelings as it pertains to a troubled romantic relationship. He spits: “Only allowed in my crib when my mom not there. Steady fussing ’bout what me and the next chick did. That’s yo problem. Mind ya own. Cause the way that you be acting, I can’t condone. B—h, get off my phone. Cause I’m tired of that. Subliminal lyrics for this real track.” Great break down of the struggling union. All in all, this is a worthwhile effort.
The production here is heavy. The full foundation, unhurried pace, dramatic background sounds, and menacing street vibe make for a striking blend. The hook is dope too. The delivery is first-rate and the lyrics are cold. The verses are pretty stern as well. Ken presents a charismatic flow and gutter rhymes. He does a quality job of flexing the more hardcore side of his personality. A handful of reputable lines are: “N—a yes I’m creeping in these Brooklyn f–king streets. I’m out for presidents to represent me. My dead green. So I carry Smith & Wesson. Due to assessing. This s–t is depressing. But my mentality is giving me analogies. I’m juiced like a battery. So try me.” Tough intricate bars being spit right there. It should be noted that there is a brief message of endorsement from one of Ken’s homies in the midst of the cut. In the end, this is a fair track and one of the more flourishing selections on the tape.
**My Two Cents: R.E.B.E.L [Revolution Exists Behind Every Leader] is a proficient debut. Ken held his own with grand content and a varied flow. The only suggestion is that he dial down the frequent explicit talk as it relates to females. It’s fine on occasion but too often it can be overkill. He’s more than proven that his pen game and subject matter is quite expansive. So he should utilize that as much as possible. The production was of front-line quality and the guest appearances were on the nose. In it’s entirety, the tape ranks a 3.5/5. Readers should take a moment to visit it for themselves though. -MinM