KennyOffTh3Henny – “Beginnings” (Album Review)

KennyOffTh3Henny is a Baltimore native who recently dropped his first full length project, titled “Beginnings,” and frankly, I have mixed feelings about it.

The album is lead by the song “Let Us Intro,” which feels like a super moody vocal performance over a beat that doesn’t quite live up to that tone. It’s unfortunate because the beat itself is far from terrible. The next song, “(And So) It Began,” is a complete 180, with a much more 90’s era boombap instrumental and upbeat vocals. That change is a little bit jarring and throws the listener off a little bit. The next song once more takes up the monotone and lower pitched sound of the intro, and the rest of the album seems to run with it. This kind of makes me wonder why “It Began” wasn’t a bonus track. Thematically, it fits right in line as the first real song of the album, but the overall sound doesn’t fit into the project at all.

Lyrically speaking, Kenny isn’t… bad, I guess He’s got some decent punchlines every now and then, but he also has a large handful that are stretches. An example would be;

“I tear it up like a carpet/  But it’s not liquidated.”

If we want to get technical, this can actually be considered a double-entendre, since “liquidate” means both to turn assets into cash, which is related to the retail of carpets, but also means to violently eliminate. The problem is that, despite this knowledge, it still just sounds clunky and awkward and detracts from any creativity of the bar. This type of thing happens with a fair amount of frequency on “Beginnings.” On top of that, Kenny’s delivery also feels incredibly out of place over the vast majority of his tracks. There’s this weird clash between the vocals and the beat, which I think can be attributed to poor mixing since I struggled to understand a fair amount of words after replaying those parts of the song over and over to try and gain some comprehension.

Even though the mixing is not ideal, I can’t describe the overall production the same way. Instead, I would say it’s more bland than anything. Kenny uses a lot of acoustic samples in all of the instrumentals and that kind of makes them sound the same, but individually aren’t bad. I definitely think they could be fleshed out more since a lot of them feel somewhat hollow, but their skeletons are pretty solid.

Kenny is a point of intrigue for me. While I definitely see potential in his music, there’s a clear lack of polish that controls the fate of “Beginnings.” It’s not awful, but it doesn’t exactly qualify as good either. My advice to Kenny would be to work on aligning his delivery and lyrics with the beat a bit more to eliminate some of the conflict between them, and to also work on his mixing. Until he really figures those two main things out, he’s just going to be a solid conceptualist with lackluster performance.

Rating: 5/10

Highlights: Instrumentals, Story Telling

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