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During a pivotal point at Kid Ink’s listening session for his debut album, My Own Lane, the extensively-tattooed rapper’s manager, DJ Ill Will expressed the need for fans to support West Coast artists that have made it over the initial hump of general recognition. Citing examples of West Coast artists getting slighted on nationwide radio and television programming, the optisism of change was definitely in their air with the unveiling of the new LP.

Listening parties have become focused more so on the party portion, with the music being second-rate at the gathering. Tha Alumini Music Group choose to host a more intimate affair, allowing the music which was a result of tremendous effort shine through the forefront.

Kid Ink sat at the helm of one of Paramount Studio’s recording booths in Los Angeles this past December 18, subdued from Moët champagne and his strenuous mad-dash touring schedule, which included a performance on the Cali Christmas stage. The 27-year-old Los Angeles native explained that the journey to creating the album began and ended in London which amounted to an accumulation of 30 songs being recorded before being trimmed to 13 songs. (18 if you still favor CDs.)

While his Chris Brown duet, “Show Me,” allowed for the possibility of pigeonholing, Kid Ink set out to show some versatility to prove the world he wasn’t a one-trick pony. Hip-Hop Wired can attest to the strides and growth in his music as My Own Lane is an amalgamous tandem of radio-ready records like the biographical “Tattoo Of My Name” mixed with flex in the lyrical delivery department as heard on the seminal second intro, “The Movement.”

Ironically, the album transformed the small gathering into a dance party as hips swayed from side-to-side and each song was met with applause and “awws,” as Kid Ink gave only 60 percent earfuls. The opinions for the favorite track off the energetic project varied amongst the audience but the Kid called Ink was extremely vocal in his acquisition of a Pusha T verse for the middle anchor, “Murda.” Most rappers get caught in fast-paced art of delivering throwaway verses due to scheduling constraints but the G.O.O.D. Music ringleader made sure that is “name” wasn’t about to be associated with anything that was sub par.

The album’s January 7 date is fast approaching but there are still two enormous events in Christmas and New Year’s Eve to be experienced in the meantime. When asked about his level of anxiousness, Kid Ink told Hip-Hop Wired that “he felt pretty pressured,” seeing that his tour schedule kept him on the go.

“I just got a tree two days ago and I haven’t even started Christmas shopping,” he continued with a smirk. “I use my free days for Christmas shopping and I don’t have any plans for New Year’s and I don’t know where I’m eating Christmas dinner at. But I do know I have an album coming out on January 7 and that’s the gift to everybody else.”

Pre-order Kid Ink’s My Own Lane on iTunes and follow him on Twitter @Kid_Ink

Photo: TC

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