The only relevance that rapper Kid Ink’s new album, Summer in the Winter, has to the real world would have to do with its title, or more specifically to the unseasonably warm weather currently being experienced in some parts of the US. Other than clever naming, the bulk of Summer (Dec. 25), the fourth full length studio album by the heavily tattooed L.A. rhymer, is dedicated to the hedonistic pursuits of good fun times both in word and sound with nary a chance or risk taken from beginning to end. The second major draw to this “project” will be to the music produced by DJ Mustard, another Los Angeles favorite, though even those club-oriented beats of his sound discouragingly and dishearteningly repetitious and formulaic, based on his production history. The rest of the guests can hardly be praised any better, but it is Kid Ink who is largely responsible for Summer‘s unideal forecast.
At this point, it’s quite ridiculous and exhausting having to go down the litany of topics on this album. Kid Ink starts with some typical braggadocio in “Bunny Ranch” and in “Real Recognize” followed by “Promise,” an overly lit love banger fitting to his commercialized program, featuring Fetty Wap. The next four songs are a mess, as the Kid parties, drinks and sexes with Konvicted singer Akon in “Rewind,” caves to substance dependency in “Blowin’ Swishers Part 2,” parties fast in “Same Day” and spends money on frivolous goods and services in “Bank.” The rest is basically just more partying, screwing, screwing around and the exercise of a pickup artist’s control over girls in the last song, “Time Out.”
Kid Ink’s mentality is stuck on that of a juvenile high-schooler or unserious college kid, and remnants of a once promising ability at rap wordplay on his part have been distorted by the superficial agenda of his overhead label, RCA Records, a Sony Music subsidiary. Consequently, Summer in the Winter is simply another example of how Kid Ink serves as nothing more than a puppet, a marionette-artist for those two multi-million dollar record companies. For those familiar with how coffee is ordered, Summer is for music listeners who like a little rap in their contemporary pop and not the other way around. Kid does a decent amount of rapping here but not at a good enough level or caliber and not for honorable ends or purposes other than stale revelry and unrefined diversions. In general, he gives a bad name to unpredictable mother nature with Summer in the Winter.