EP Review: Orlando Kennedy - Argentina

Orlando Kennedy is a 17 year old rapper who hails form Houston, Texas. You may remember we covered his first EP Otaku 2006 a while back. Since then he's gone on to release a slew of singles as well as the four track Forest EP. He's also had several performances since then. Today we're going to take a look at his most recent project The Argentina EP. It's a quick 8 track EP available on both Bandcamp and SoundCloud. Recently Kennedy has taken on the title of Art-Rapper as well as Folk-Rapper attempting to set himself apart from the rest of the herd, as well as demonstrate that he's much more than your average rapper.

The first EP was called Otaku 2006, but this time almost all traces of otaku are gone. There's no attempt to fit into a genre with this. Simply put, this is Orlando Kennedy. The EP opens with a monologue of Orlando stating things he hates and fears. Since Drake became a household name there have been a ton of rappers attempting to prove that they can also show emotions. This isn't a track like those others. This is simply one guy pouring out his fears about the future, the way he's perceived others, things he hates about himself. It's not someone mimicking Drake falling in love with random strippers. It's the kind of thing we've all said to ourselves at some point or another, the only difference is he's saying them out loud for others to hear.

The album continues with this theme. It's not full of braggadocio or lyrical gymnastics. It's a demonstration of self-reflection filled with quotables like "always been straight edge, never tried drugs I just lie and try to fit in but I don't know why," or "If you're ignorant enough to believe in the concept of acting black, fuck you." That's practically our motto. My favorite is most likely "It's filled with as many references to video games as it is to classic literature. In addition to the self reflection he also questions the hyper masculinity of society especially rap music. In the sense of if you're not gang banging, selling drugs, sleeping with an astronomical amount of women or killing people, there's always going to be a large number of people who question your sexuality.

The production for the EP is all done by AWAL The 1$t. It's well put together and avoids the common traps a lot of producers seem to be falling into these days. There's no use of the same generic trap music drum kit that everyone seems to have access to. Having one producer also helps maintain the flow of the album creating a dark and arid vibe throughout.

Lyrically Kennedy has stepped up his game. Perhaps switching subject matter to something that really matters, himself, really helped to bring him out. He seems to have found talent he didn't even know he had, considering he states several times he's afraid he's bad at rapping and doesn't think he's very good. The flow could still use some work but lyrically he seems to have found his niche. He just has to build a nice house there now.

The joy in the flaws seems to be that this wasn't an album about proving himself to be a lyrical mastermind or the father of the flawless flow. It seemed to be a crossroads, deciding on if he wants to continue or not. As well as attempting to discover who he is as a person, not just an artist. Coming to term with the fact that Orlando Kennedy can never be anything more than Orlando Kennedy. He can't be the current fashion, the trending topic, the popular kid or anything else, but himself. Which is a place a lot of us never reach. We see it every day, people doing whatever twitter or facebook says is cool all the while sacrificing who they really are as individuals.
  • Lyricism-7
  • Flow-7
  • Production- 9
  • Theme- 10
  • Replayability- 7
  • Individuality- 10
Overall the score is an 8.3/10 which is a nice score for such a condensed project. Are the flaws? Of course. However, all the ground work for becoming a great artist has been laid with this project. If Kennedy takes what he's built here and uses it as the foundation, there's no limit. He's already shown that he's self aware which a lot of artist don't seem to be. Being aware of yourself is the first step to noticing problems and noticing problems is the first step to solving them. If Kennedy can do that and build the confidence to deliver with no fear or hesitation, but boldness and determination then he's on the right path to success.

You can find Orlando on SoundCloud and Tumblr and Facebook as well as twitter

You can find me on the CP Time Podcast or the Powerbomb Jutsu Podcast and twitter
EP Review: Orlando Kennedy - Argentina EP Review: Orlando Kennedy - Argentina Reviewed by Darrell S. on Wednesday, June 03, 2015 Rating: 5

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