Kenny Beats’s debut album, Louie, feels like fine art that needs to be showcased in a museum. With boastful production credits, he's worked with the likes of Rico Nasty, 03 Greedo, Denzel Curry and Freddie Gibbs to name a few.
This album feels a lot softer than his previous production, yet still encapsulates many cameos from various collaborators. The record feels close knit, every aspect of production feels intertwined.
The introduction to what feels like a movie score of the mind of Kenny Beats features him and his dad having a conversation about how he got the name Louie over a winding staircase of keys. Many of the tracks on this album are purely instrumental, or some instrumental with the fragments of a conversation or vocals, good examples being That Third Thing and Get Around. A lot of which have this bounce that helps the album to flow really well.
‘Hold My Head' sees Pink Siifu gently spitting bars that melt right into the production. 'Family Tree' with Slowthai has this grit that any track Slowthai hops on is bound to provide. Still with JPEGMAFIA and Omar Apollo, while an unlikely collaboration otherwise, is the perfect balance of JPEGMAFIA's experimental hip hop style and Omar's angelic vocals. Remi Wolf and Foushee's vocal tones compliment each other on mellow 'Last Words', filled with trumpets and ending with a snippet of Vince Staples discussing immortality. The beat on'Rotten' feels like slow dancing at midnight, the perfect track for Dijon and Nami to glide on.
It's an album you can play to start your day, or on a long walk. For when you're feeling in the need of something tranquil yet still reminiscent of all your favourite genres. What's intriguing about the album is none of the collaborators are named, thus leaving the listener to discover the collaboration while listening for the first time. Overall, a wonderful debut from Kenny Beats that shows a different side to his production while staying true to the essence of his previous works.
Written by Kat Friar