From Harlem to New Jersey, singer-songwriter, rapper, and hip-hop recording artist Kenny Boi steps out of his comfort zone with his new sophomore album, 'UNIVERSAL.'
Kenny Boi is a breath of fresh share in the saturated mumble and trap rap scene, bringing a range of styles and sounds while adapting to any genre imaginable. As a gay hip-hop artist, Kenny Boi encourages fellow artists to use all the tools in their arsenal, stand for what they believe in, and explore new ways to relate to all listeners.
That's precisely what Kenny Boi brings in his sophomore album, 'UNIVERSAL.' He believes that it's crucial for rappers to relate to anyone "who may come across your music and experiment with your sound," says Kenny Boi. For that reason, he created the new album to speak not only to the LGBTQ community but to everyone. "I am 'UNIVERSAL," he says.
The album opens with the introductory track, "Who I Am (feat. Killa YHM)." It's an incredibly energetic and dense hip-hop track that quickly bursts with Kenny Boi's explosive flow and swift rhythm. As the intense beat continues scorching the background, Kenny Boi clarifies that although he may experiment with other genres, he never doubt his rap skills. Yonkers powerhouse Killa YHM smacks the track with pure dominance and confidence that leaves us ready to hit the New York club scene.
Onto track number two, "Shoot My Shot," this playful and upbeat anthem bounces through our speakers on a confident note with Kenny Boi's rhythmic bars and energetic flow. This feels like the next twerk anthem, especially as Kenny Boi describes his unique relationships with female fans and being the life of the party. We can't wait to bump this exciting bop for our next pre-game. It packs all the punches we were hoping for.
Jumping into the groovy third track, "Pull Up (feat. Destiny)," a warm and sensual beat pounces onto the first verse while Kenny Boi touches on some relatable themes. He's quite hilarious; his charismatic vocal delivery about being the ultimate wingman and setting up women with the men they deserve will definitely leave you smiling. In the second verse, Brooklyn native Destiny serenades us with her heavenly vocals that add hints of zest and spice to this upbeat banger.
Reaching the fourth track, "FLOW," Kenny Boi makes a B-line from hip-hop and into the passionate and emotional realm of 90s pop-punk. We're so impressed with Kenny Boi's take on this classic sound, especially as he brings some authentic emotion with lyrics about going with the flow in a "situationship" with no labels. We're sure listeners will adore banging their heads to the thrilling pop-punk instrumentals on the hook while relating to Kenny Boi's honest lyrics.
Before we know it, we're hit over the head with a hefty beat from track number five, "Big City." This track is a powerhouse ode to Kenny Boi's stomping grounds, New York City. He wastes no time jumping into his hard-hitting and quick bars that describe the busy New Yorker lifestyle and the endless cash flow. We adore the spicy sonics paired with Kenny Boi's attention-demanding performance; he truly makes each second of this song worthwhile.
Landing on the album's sixth and mid-way track, "LAYERS," Kenny Boi keeps the energy flowing with a head-bopping beat alongside a squeaky synth that oozes a sultry and gripping vibe. As Kenny Boi jumps into his verse, he blasts us with spitfire bars that assert his dominance and determination to make money in various ways. We can't get enough of Kenny Boi's confidence and playful energy; he keeps us refreshed and ready for action throughout the whole track.
Onto the seventh track, "Fly Away (feat. Rikko .009)," Kenny Boi takes us back into the energy and vibe of "FLOW" with boundless emotion and passionate pop sonics. This time around, he serenades us with all his heart while expanding on leaving a relationship that's no longer healthy. Rikko .009's verse continues that emotional theme while matching Kenny Boi's energy with rich vocals, relatable words, and overall honest performance.
Floating into track number eight, "VIBE (feat. Bella B)," Kenny Boi quickly opens the song with his upbeat bars and energetic sonics that bring us into an exciting pop/r&b soundscape. This feel-good and passionate song is amplified with help from Bronx femcee Bella B, who adds a passion-packed back-and-forth with descriptive and suggestive bars that bring hot and heavy images to mind. This high-energy song is nothing but a "VIBE."
Track number nine takes us to the club, "LIT," opening with a poised and mid-tempo bass line that leads us into the blazing verse. Kenny Boi really didn't have to go that hard, but he did; his performance smokes our speakers with explosive confidence that's sure to help you move and groove all night long. It's an empowering club anthem that anyone can appreciate, especially as Kenny Boi reminds us that it's okay to be "LIT," even when the haters come crawling.
Landing on the true album closer, "Bad God," we're met with a soulful hip-hop beat that instantly chills the spine. As Kenny Boi leaps into the feel-good and anthemic verse, he takes this track to rap about his dreams of stardom and his promising musical future. There's so much passion in this track, and we adore how Kenny Boi naturally empowers the listener to go after their dreams by expressing his personal experiences, successes, and optimism.
Reaching the final track, "FLOW 2.0 (feat. Rikko .009)," this tune is a remix of the pop-punk anthem, "FLOW." That said, Kenny Boi puts a unique punk-rock spin to showcase his versatility as a recording artist. He unleashes a few punchy and angsty screams while Rikko .009 has us floating on cloud nine with his lush vocals and emotional lyrics. Kenny Boi blasts us towards the song's outro with incredible energy that's truly contagious.
There's so much to experience in Kenny Boi's sophomore album, but one thing is for sure, listeners far and wide will definitely appreciate such a 'UNIVERSAL' listening experience. Find Kenny Boi's new album on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, KennyBoi. We honestly appreciate such a versatile and relatable album like 'UNIVERSAL.' What inspired you to create this dynamic and honest project?
Honestly? I wanted to give people a musical experience down the "rainbow brick road." Like Dorothy when she was journeying to Oz, you never knew what craziness she was gonna encounter next, and that's what I wanted my album to be. Most people know me for only my rap skills. I wanted listeners to expect the unexpected from track to track. I wanted them to see I'm capable of so much and can hit so many different demographics; I really hope I was able to not only show that but also take them on a little bit of a rollercoaster ride musically. A few tracks within 'UNIVERSAL' deliver some punk, pop, and rock vibes. Was this your first time creating songs within these genres? What was that experience like? It was so much fun! And almost therapeutic in a way. Something I've discovered about myself artistically is that pop/punk rock music brings out the emo side in me and allows me to connect with my Kenzies in a much deeper way. On my last album, "Kenny World", I wrote my first real pop song called "Super High," and it was a fan favorite, so I really wanted to dive head first into that genre on this project; that's when "FLOW" and "Fly Away" were born. What I love about pop music is its' duality. Both those songs are about serious relationship issues people go through that I've gone through, but you would never know I was crying while recording it because the beats are just really fun as hell, LOL!
What do you hope to make the listener think or realize when hearing the album UNIVERSAL?' What did you want them to take away? My tagline is "locked in, never boxed in," and that is exactly what I wanted my Kenzies to take away from this album. As a male LGBTQ+ artist, people have a perception of what type of music you're going to produce before they even hear you, and I've always said I want to break that stereotype and make music for EVERYONE, not just my community. This is my 6th body of work, and I've been told by so many people that it's my best one yet, and I can't disagree. This album has a little bit of everything, and the fact that it's coming from a male "gay rapper" is what makes it even more special, I think. What was your favorite part about creating the 'UNIVERSAL' album? Which experiences did you cherish most? Oh, that's easy...the features!!! I've been doing music for a lot of years now, and this is the first time I've ever collaborated with other artists, and I love each one of them so much. A lot of the time, you're unable to get together in the studio when you're doing a collab, but I was blessed to be able to actually record in the studio with Killa, Bella, Destiiny, and Rikko. Just the experience of bonding and connecting during the recording sessions really brought out the chemistry between us and brought us closer together so those were definitely some of my favorite moments. On a more personal note, why do you think your music has been so successful? What do you bring to the table that listeners appreciate? Keeping it real...I'm just dope AF LOL! But no, seriously, I always used to think my sexual orientation was gonna silence me no matter how much talent I had, but I've realized it's my confidence in who I am, my honesty, and my fearlessness that listeners appreciate. I don't let me being gay define me in life or my music, and I show that throughout this entire album. No genre scares me. I can rap my ass off on a drill song like "Who I Am," sing on a pop track like "FLOW," and then do both on an r&b/pop track like "VIBE". There are so many talented LGBTQ+ male artists out here, but they don't get heard because unfortunately, we haven't reached a true level of acceptance where "gay lyrical content" in music can be digested by a mainstream audience. However, artists like Lil Nas X and Saucy Santana have created their own lanes for their own audiences, and that's what I hope to do with this album. "UNIVERSAL" is universal. Anyone can listen to it and not feel left out. It was created by an LGBTQ+ artist, but it's relatable to everyone, and I think that's why it's been received so well. What's next for you? Well, it's pride month, and I have a few performances lined up. Also, the first single from the album "LIT" has been doing well, but I think it's almost time to give people another single. They NEED a song of the summer! I've been trying to narrow it down between two tracks, but it's really hard because they're both so good! I definitely have more collaborations coming with some really dope artists. And oh yeah, a VACATION! All work and no play make Kenny a very cranky boi, LOL!