Pretty Ken is a name that you may or may not know. I don’t want to type too much about him here, rather, I think you should listen to the radio interview I did with him for my show Recognize Real on ABL Radio. It covers everything from his Dungeon Family roots to him creating the Attic Crew (Youngbloods, Jim Crow, Playboy Tre, etc).
Instead, I want to focus on his debut album Behind The Music. First, this album has been in the works for damn near six years. It went though some changes in direction and some hard drive crashes, but he finally got it out.
Ageism in Hip Hop has always been a topic that many change their minds on depending on who we are talking about. Hip Hop is over 30 years old now it is just now becoming cool to be over 30-something and “still be rapping.” Even though the Andre 3000’s of the world aren’t fond of pushing 40 and rapping, people like his own rap partner Big Boi, Jay-Z, Nas, E-40, Killer Mike and a multitude of others are proving that there’s nothing wrong with rapping in your late 30’s if you are talking about some grown man shit.
That is what this album does, and does well. Ken is 38 years old with children and raps about things like trying to raise his son so he don’t become a punk and his daughter so she don’t become a freak. He raps about being at the PTA conference and getting caught up in looking at the fine ass teacher. But above all, the shit is jammin…
“Get Some” feat. Bobby Creekwater
My favorite song on the album is probably “The Blind.” Much of the music hasn’t done a great job at telling the story, but Atlanta’s landscape has changed a lot over the last few years. If you notice, a lot of rap videos shot here are either done in night clubs, strip clubs or some other fantasy land because many of the places these cats call home are either gone or outside of the city. As Atlanta tries to bill itself as a “first class city” that means lower class people have to be pushed out. It’s been happening since the Olympics, but, it has accelerated over the last couple of years. Here’s a example for you, remember that crazy ass Pill video “Trap Going Ham” I was at? None of that stuff in the video is there anymore and that was just was just five years ago.
But yeah, “The Blind” addresses that pretty well.
Ken himself is from the school where you have to buy the music, not just listen to it for free on the internet all day. So, out of respect, I’m not going post a lot of songs from the album here. But I’m telling you, the $9.99 he’s asking for the album on iTunes is very much worth it.