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Kid Ink, Terrio CL Recommends Members Pick

When: Fri., Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m. 2013
Phone: (704) 916-8970
Price: $25 (plus fees)

KID INK

It appears that commercial hip-hop’s use of sampling — putting the familiar in a startling new context — has mutated into slavish replication of existing hits, boosting beats and flow wholesale. Where 27-year-old rapper Kid Ink falls in the originality vs. mimicry continuum is an open verdict. With a reedy, bratty kid brother voice that recalls Lil Wayne and a laid-back Cali flow that suggests a slightly stoned Drake, he’s struggled to establish an identity. At first, it seemed that Kid Ink succeeded by working the grind. Releasing three solid mixtapes in two years, the Kid displayed memorable metaphors, clever punchlines and a boastful but good-natured, “I don’t give a fuck” personality, but on his 2012 LP Up & Away, he bobbled the ball. Too keen on crafting radio hits, he leaned on generic auto-tune singing, while bouncing between imitations of Drake’s relaxed R&B vibe and the aggressive party monster approach of Tyga. Kid Ink recovers points on recent cut, the slippery and skittering “Money & Power.” Covered in tattoos, Kid Ink boasts a distinct image, but he needs to hone his signature sound to make an indelible impression. (Pat Moran)

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