K.Gaines isn’t the type of rapper to floor you with a internal rhymes relying on polysyllabic words and obscure references. There is a worksman type work ethic to his rhymes which sneaks up on you, an everyman rapper vibe that comes more from the school of Kanye West then technical focused MC’s from Brooklyn. It’s probably because of this fact that his debut, Rumspringa, is more enjoyable then what many of those rappers have dropped recently; he’s able to focus on things that they neglect like theme, word choice, and genuinely witty bars.
Take for instance this one, “When I fart, I sand blast my jeans clean/I camel clutch camel toes, word to Mean Gene”. As silly as that line is, it calls back to the days where you would drop bars to impress and get a head nod or laugh, not simply work your way to the hook. The fact he called his album Rumspringa, which is the period in which Amish teenagers are allowed to wild out and do whatever they want before adult hood, gives you an idea on the general vibe going on in the record.
There’s just a laid back vibe throughout the record. Like on “Milk Toast”, which goes after wanna be rappers hustling their CD’s as if in 2013 anybody cares about those pieces of plastic. “Explain to me, how you gonna stand out. This recording that you did at your man’s house?” Even when he belittles other MC’s there’s still playfulness or a hope they do better next time. And we won’t even get into how fun the track Kung Fu Chaos is along with it’s accompanying video for Kung Fu Chaos.
The record was produced by 2 Hungry Boys and they keep the beat backdrop breezy with samples that lean on the 70’s R&B style that’s seen resurgence with producers like Harry Fraud. Here they focus on keeping the beats mid tempo but not as bass heavy as they could which gives K.Gaines a chance to shine and not get overpowered. While not a classic out of the gate, it’s a solid piece of work with plenty of foundation for Gaines to build on.