At the beginning of this year, Kid Ink dropped his major label debut My Own Lane. It was an album where at best showed that Kid Ink knew his way around a melodic pop hook when he felt like it, but at worst he failed to present himself as a fully capable MC. Now Kid Ink has brought along his gang of fellow rappers known as Batgang for 4B’s. After giving him a second chance after said mediocre debut however, he fails to bring much to consider to the point of weighing down the whole mixtape. 4B’s is a good example of that when you lower the bar so far down to the ground, everyone else surrounding you doesn’t feel the need to try much.
Rappers Hardhead, Shitty Montana, Math Allen, Louie Batz, and Juliann make up the Kid Ink led Batgang. They don’t do much justice though. For example, Shitty Montana tries to explain his name by rapping in a psuedo- gruff tone of voice, but it only comes off as foolish. Hardhead tries to play the role of “The Cool Kid” by throwing in a flimsy triple flow in “Where Dey At” in an attempt to show off what he doesn’t have, flow. Also, he repeats a line that is quotable for all the wrong reasons: “Drop it like a thot.” I understand that it is a double entendre, but its just plain stupid, tossing the term around like it’s genuinely hilarious. Of all the new slang to come around, “thot” has to be one of the most pointless derivatives of “ho”.
Travis Porter, Vee Tha Rula, Jeremih, Gorilla Zoe, Ty Dolla $ign, Paul Wall, Sean Brown, Lil’ Bibby, and King Los are all features. However, only so many of the features perform decently because like previously said if the bar is set too low, who would care to put much effort in. That being said, lower effort Paul Wall and Ty Dolla $ign is still quite welcoming when a mixtape has this much monotony. Even if they aren’t that quotable, it still rescues this mixtape from being complete trash. Though the songs have certain aspects that separate them, the overall quality of them is what makes them monotonous.
Notably, the Big Sean sample in “Out in Pari” from Mercy off of G.O.O.D. Music’s Cruel Summer. Mercy may be a dope song as well as a universal banger that everyone in the hip-hop community recognizes, but the sample is flipped so poorly that it falls flat. Other hip-hop songs usually reference other artists for homage, but this is a desperate cry for relevancy on a mixtape that doesn’t offer much. At least My Own Lane had some production that could hold together great on it’s own, as displayed by “rachet music” connoisseur DJ Mustard. His absence is notable, as I would rather hear his production over the tinny beats of this mixtape.
The main problem with 4B’s though is Kid Ink himself. While he is consistent in his delivery, he stretches his limited talents thin, and with no charisma, context, or creativity to make up for it. He aims to be a rapper and a singer, but by doing both, he’s good at neither. This is because he lacks the ambidexterity needed to pull this off with satisfying results, as presented in Drake or Chance, The Rapper, who are masters of their craft. If Kid Ink were to focus more on perfecting both cohesively, than he might be able to create a unique style worthy enough to label him as a dope MC. Maybe then will his Batgang follow and prove to be decent as well. As for the time being though, he has a mixtape so vapid and artless that it hardly makes Kid Ink much of an MC worth considering.