It Took A Little Patience
For two years, artist‑producer KEN6TEEN teased his best work yet. His popular project “Ken v. Ken” had an energetic response that left fans hungry for more when he started teasing “KENVILLE” just four months after the drop. His passionate support system started to raise eyebrows when the project was pushed back repeatedly. To hold us over, we were gifted with a single and an EP rightfully titled “In The Meantime…” The artist kept his head down, focusing on developing his producer skills and personal brand “Still Pretty, Still Thuggin”. KEN started to become tight lipped about the project, responding to constant inquiries about the drop date with the simple phrase “It’s being made with care and charisma.”
In June 2022, 6TEEN dropped “Lips Like SZA”. Unknown to the public, this was the first single from the project. A few weeks later, the “04 CAM’RON” visual dropped and it was clear that KENVILLE was on the horizon. The song’s impressive bars seemed tame compared to the storm that was brewing. After fans ran up the visual, a cover art and drop date were finally given to us. And everyone went nuts.
Approaching The Destination
Revealing a streaky self portrait by @terribletonyxx , KENVILLE came into the world as soon as the clock struck midnight on July 22nd. His fanbase, self‑titling themselves as “KenFolk”, showed to be stronger than ever with their patience and heavy support. Finally getting their hands on new 6TEEN, KenFolk absolutely devoured the 17 tracks and spammed Twitter and Instagram with proud reposts. Unlike anything we’ve ever heard from the artist, the projects displayed a new school nostalgia with early 2000’s samples from Cam’Ron, Usher, Jodeci and even Drake. Wrapped in themes of drug abuse, an ever growing love roster, hustle and a self love so strong insecure people would call it arrogance, KenFolk finally arrived at the destination.
KEN did the intro “04 CAM’RON” justice, coming in swinging with bars that everyone waited so many months for. The messaging is pretty clear, holding two middle fingers high to any naysayers, he’s perfectly fine with being in his own lane. “SO SOFT” reveals his true motive in this life and expresses his disdain for others who try to cheat the game.
“ON NOW” sports the only feature and one of my favorite productions on the project, done by KEN6TEEN of course. Layering his vocals, the track bangs with an invincible confidence knowing he’s ready for whatever, even though it took a little minute.
“THE BASSMNT” gives a nod to his usual workstation and the creative process behind the project, with bars that show his unbreakable belief in himself. The artist lets us know he doesn’t like to waste time on irrelevant subjects and isn’t afraid to take the long road to get the results he wants, his way. “HUSTLE & PATIENCE” shows the aftermath of betting on himself every time and what it takes to become a superstar in his book with the Usher sample to emphasize.
KEN6TEEN Begins To Unravel
“CRACKBABY” is the one of shortest tracks but holds the most weight. Leaving the flexing behind, one can hear the pain in his voice as he unveils a story most would’ve never guessed about the producer. Showing honesty, growth and forgiveness, KEN is unashamed of his adolescence. Knowing that it gave him his motivation and compassion, the rapper faces his instincts and reality head on and produces the most mature track on the project in the process.
“WANNA LEAVE” proposes a love letter to a seemingly endless routine with his main thing who has to deal with his player ways. His smooth talking personality and wise talent makes it difficult to leave and it’s hard to tell if this is their real breaking point or he’s just gaslighting. At least he’s self aware.
“CARE & CHARISMA” boasts a luxurious, Griselda‑like beat switch as KEN spits free game. “LIFE OF KEN” describes his internal struggles and his external wants while “STAY AT HOME” states his preference on his idea of a good time.
“BRENDA’S SON” leaves us off on a fly note with the production to match. Letting us into his head and answering everyone on the tape delay, KEN honestly states, “You can’t rush nothing this great, You’ve never heard nothing like this tape.”
Made With Care & Charisma
It’s safe to say that KENVILLE truly was made with care and charisma as his concept aged like fine wine. Like track 7, the project is a result of hustle and patience, proving good things can’t be rushed. Never being one to throw something to his distribution platform for the sake of putting music out, KEN isn’t afraid to take his time if that means everything will be flawless. Producing 12 of the 17 tracks, 6TEEN has climbed to newer heights in his artistry. This is one of the most impressive projects of the year.
KEN6TEEN calls this a mixtape, but it easily could’ve been his debut album.
KENVILLE available on all streaming platforms.