UK producer t.y. and rapper Kenny  first caught our attention with their single “On That Note”  which gave us a taste of their soulful style of hip-hop. Now they are back with their full-length project  Perfecting My Pen. The 13 track body of work is an amalgamation of different sounds from north-east of England and was recorded independently on the premises of their campus.

“Intro” is the aptly titled opening track with a 50-cent sample that details the reason behind the grind. It comprises sombre pulsating synths, and sparse drums underpinned by Kenny’s smooth flow and descriptive songwriting.  Kenny has a way with words and leads us deep into his life. From the ups and downs, the wins and losses, the rapper doesn’t shy away from letting us know it all. In  the introspective “All Them Times” he shows us another perspective where he revisits his past from a sober lens while coming to terms with present with lines like “See I grew up in the Northside, trapping by the courtside/I couldda been a baller but my dad showed me the dark side/I was in a dark place, I showed niggaz loving but in return I got some heartache”.  “Gotham” starts with a solemn piano riff and brooding strings which forms the perfect cinematic soundscape for Kenny’s emotional-fuelled performance. From the loss of his dad, betrayal and constant struggles in the proverbial concrete jungle, audiences get a sense of urgency as we see Kenny doing all he needs to reach his goals.

“Change on Me” is a bouncy and atmospheric piece featuring Cee.eight. The track centers on betrayal and the concept of being true to the game no matter the circumstance. Both emcees deliver the goods with a mix of smooth melodic flows laced with candid and graphic lyrics. The aspirational theme continues in the anthemic ”Ambitions of a Hustler”. The track is introduced by a rich horn pass with lush guitar licks. Here, Kenny embodies the spirit of the go-getter who gets by regardless of the obstacles laid before him. On “Timing”, the vivid storytelling is pronounced as Kenny raises the ante with a hi-octane flow with bravado raps.

“Perfecting My Pen” is an aptly titled track that comprises thick pulsating basslines and punchy drums while Kenny flows effortlessly over it. “Mothers Keeper” is a heartfelt and reflective track that digs deep into the complex relationship between street life and love for his mother. Here, he shows remorse for his past transgressions during his younger days and pays homage to that special someone who was always there for him.  “On That Note” is a previously released single and it’s a solid reflective tune that explores the life of a young man trying to find his footing in an unforgiving world. The final track “Art Part two (Bonus)” helps bring the project full circle with its melancholic ambiance which fits Kenny’s baritone and animated flow and use of graphic rap imagery. Again, he has a way with storytelling as he runs through topics such as love, friendship, karma, his music career and the different events that shaped his perspective. Other notable tracks include the hazy “Blowing O’s” with its smoked-out soundscape captures Kenny’s duality as he balances street grind with love and family while “Art” featuring Cee.eight is another showcase of lyrical dexterity from both emcees.


In the end, Perfecting My Pen is a dense project with semi-autobiographical themes from the horse’s mouth. t.y’s emotion-driven soundscapes serve as the central element of Kenny’s poignant story telling and together they are a match made in the studio.



Stream Perfecting My Pen on all DSPs here.


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Keep up with Kenny | Spotify

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