Courtesy of RCA Records
Courtesy of RCA Records

Going to a party? If the DJ has a good ear for crowd-pleasers, be prepared to hear several tracks from Kid Ink’s newest album, “My Own Lane.” Los Angeles-born rapper Kid Ink welcomed us into the new year with a slew of songs designed for the exhilarating energy of the club.

Kid Ink released his first independent album “Up & Away” in 2012, but gained most of his present popularity in 2013 with the release of “Show Me,” a head-bobbin’ single featuring R&B superstar Chris Brown. In “My Own Lane,” Kid Ink is joined once again by Brown, as well as Tyga, Pusha T and King Los — just to name a few. Despite the fact that Kid Ink’s career has been picking up momentum on its own, these names certainly introduce him to a wider audience. Some of the best tracks on the album, including “Iz You Down” and “We Just Came to Party,” contain featured artists and show that Kid Ink can keep up with established names.

Kid Ink is known for his pop-infused rap style, and “My Own Lane” further confirms this to be his unique specialty. With its cheery piano chords and slap-happy melody containing lighthearted lyrics and whimsical strings, the opening track “Hello World” could be the instrumental backing to a rock or pop song. Kid Ink ups the ante with huge, bass-heavy anthems like “The Movement” and “No Option,” which will not only have the stadium rocking but also display Kid Ink’s ability to produce an impressively rapid flow.

However, Kid Ink does little to expand on subject matter, consistently filling almost every song with his lust for drugs, partying and women. Perhaps his most redeeming song is “No Miracles” featuring Elle Varner, in which he sheds light on a few personal struggles. Lyrics like “Look into my eyes you can see the pain / Painted a perfect picture where I came from / Some nights when I thought I wouldn’t see the sun” exhibit vulnerability that allow listeners to see beyond his nauseating cockiness. However, this boastfulness doesn’t necessarily detract from the album. If you are a veteran of hip-hop music, you would know that this attitude comes with the territory. Kid Ink is doing what every other rapper is doing at the moment, proclaiming that he is and always will be the best.

Despite Kid Ink’s unexpected shift from partying and women to personal hardships, the album is a club banger. It rarely goes beyond infectious, repetitive beats that will either leave you grateful for its consistency or simply bored. However, there is no doubt that Kid Ink has high expectations for himself. On the last track, “More Than A King,” Kid Ink channels Kanye West with lyrics like “I feel like more than a king / More than a king / More like God.” Perhaps with this mentality, Kid Ink will continue to hone his talents and we will see steady improvement from a rapper who has already created quite a name for himself.

Rating: 3 stars