Reviews

Ken Carson “A Great Chaos” Album Review

A Great Chaos

Ken Carson

  • Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
  • Date: 13 Oct, 2023
  • Content: explicit
  • Track(s): 18
  • Opium/Interscope Records; ℗ 2023 Opium/Interscope

Ken Carson &Quot;A Great Chaos&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 20, 2024

The third studio album by American rapper Ken Carson is titled ‘A Great Chaos.’ On October 13, 2023, Opium and Interscope Records released it. The 18-track album, which is a sequel to Carson’s second studio album, X (2022), and his third mixtape, Lost Files 4 (2023), includes guest performances from American rapper Lil Uzi Vert and Opium’s Destroy Lonely. The album featured regular production from Carson’s friends F1lthy, Lil 88, and TM88 and was promoted by releasing a single, “I Need You.”  Carson’s successful album, A Great Chaos, showcased his talent and featured collaborations with notable artists such as Lil Uzi Vert and Opium’s Destroy Lonely. Debuting at number 11 on the Billboard 200, A Great Chaos became Carson’s first top 20 album in the US, selling an impressive 49,000 album-equivalent units.

While the mostly young high school crowd danced around and yelled out songs that had already leaked, Ken took centre stage at the Brooklyn listening session for “A Great Chaos,” immersed in his music. Abruptly, he revealed Destroy Lonely, then his boss, Playboi Carti, whose visage was set like a Hindu god with white jewels. The audience flashed their phones, but Carti remained silent and hurried backstage to his entourage, giving Ken the upper hand. The energy in the room was palpable as Ken’s performance captivated the audience, each note resonating with a raw intensity. The Opium crew’s collective experience of the song was like a coronation, even though there was no “Dre passing the torch to Kendrick” moment. The absence of a symbolic torch-passing moment didn’t matter; it was clear that Ken had established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. The Opium crew couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride and excitement for what the future held for their talented artist.

Album Art

Ken Carson &Quot;A Great Chaos&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 20, 2024

Nick Spiders created the album cover art unveiled on October 6, 2023. It features a grainy close-up of Carson grinning against a grey background while donning a black t-shirt, diamond chains, and earrings.

Tracks And Features

With ‘A Great Chaos,’ Ken seems to have discovered a fresh lease of life as a musician. Ken’s hedonistic impulses are funnelled into a joyfully unholy creation within the maelstrom of the beats. Compared to its predecessor, X, which now appears drab in contrast, the new album is marginally shorter. This time, Ken has structured his tunes with more consideration, which adds to the overall enjoyable experience. This album is a true masterpiece because of the collaborative production efforts of many brilliant musicians, such as Starboy, Outtatown, F1LTHY, Lucian, and Ssor.t, Lukrative, and others. This record avoids the traditional trap of defining punk as abstract, copying and duplicating fury beats. Instead, it adopts a different strategy and rewrites Atlanta’s rap history for a new age. For example, the epic track “Me N My Kup” features tumbling notes and organ glissando. The project offers an exciting musical experience thanks to the second track, “Jennifer’s Body,” a ferocious song masterpiece that captures its mind-numbing aesthetics in the listener’s imagination.

In contrast, “Singapore” features a falling snare roll reminiscent of Lex Luger, which introduces a chilly duet with Opium labelmate Destroy Lonely. The project offers a spectacular musical experience with its second song, Jennifer’s Body, a roaring masterpiece.

“Lose It,” an exhilaratingly overwhelming tune, begs the question, “What if Ken Carson released a Gucci Mane record in the early 2000s?” He then switches to “Hardcore,” where Ken repeatedly serves the exact four phrases in a manner reminiscent of WIZRD from the Future era, rearranging and breaking them down to create an incredibly fantastic sound. Comparable to Carti’s verse on UTOPIA highlight “FEIN,” Ken’s approach to song delivery and the vocals-upfront mix is radically frank and straightforward. Over the rolling beat of Clif Shayne and Lucian’s “Pots,” Ken sounds incredibly fried in the greatest possible way (think of a swarm of those robot spiders from Spy Kids 2). He croons numbly on “Succubus,” a song that amplifies its harshest bass frequencies into a blinding fog, as he obsesses over an ex while on a bender.

Though he occasionally reverts to uninspired clunkers and simple, Opium-core angst moments in “Vampire Hour,” a lot more of this odd, “bad” material is hidden by the attractive packaging of this album, which succeeds because of how amplified everything is. Ken occasionally uses Wayne-style free association to inspire future fan art. He claims to be flying on the squelching “Nightcore 2,” then invites you to look up in the sky, saying, “It’s not a plane, it’s not a bird, it’s X-Man, bitch, fuck what you heard!” Even though it sounds ridiculous, you can’t help but smile at how goofy it is.

The last track on the album, “I Need You,” has Ken closing in style, mumbling his emotionality and telling whoever cares to hear how he was feeling at the time of writing the lyrics for this brazen closer. With a raw and vulnerable delivery, Ken’s vocals add an intimate touch to “I Need You,” leaving listeners captivated by his emotional journey. The lyrics serve as a poignant reflection of his state of mind, making it a powerful and unforgettable conclusion to the album.

Tracklist

NO TITLE TIME
1 Green Room 3:08
2 Jennifer’s Body 2:38
3 Fighting My Demons 2:30
4 Singapore (feat. Destroy Lonely) 2:31
5 Lose It 2:20
6 Hardcore 2:04
7 Me N My Kup 3:54
8 It’s Over 1:35
9 Succubus 2:29
10 Paranoid (feat. Destroy Lonely) 2:07
11 Pots 2:09
12 Like This (feat. Lil Uzi Vert & Destroy Lonely) 3:12
13 Overtime 1:46
14 Vampire Hour 2:34
15 Nightcore 3:07
16 Nightcore 2 3:02
17 Rockstar Lifestyle 3:12
18 i need u 2:28

Album Summary

‘A Great Chaos’ has received highly positive reviews from most music critics. This album is a creative revolution that turns the script on Atlanta rap production. Ken sounds vibrant and channels his indulgent impulses into joyfully sinister music amid the grinding of the wild beats. “Fighting My Demons,” “Hardcore,” “Overtime,” “Vampire Hour,” and “Nightcore” are some of Carson’s most critical songs. These tracks show the rapper at the forefront of his game.

Although the album was more convincingly produced than Carson’s previous full-length release, X, some songs may seem “monotonous” when listening, as the artist’s vocal style may come across as “uninteresting” in most cases. Notwithstanding its shortcomings, the project offers an exciting musical experience thanks to the second track, “Jennifer’s Body,” a ferocious song masterpiece. A Great Chaos, which captures its mind-numbing senselessness, might be the next essential LP in his growth wave. It makes the case that perhaps Ken’s sceptics were listening to him incorrectly. For his lifelong supporters, this is the genuinely fantastic, daring, and unwavering future that those Rick-obsessed Opium devotees deserve.

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