Earlier this month, ATL’s very own Kenny Mason touched down in Toronto for a high-energy debut show. Check out the show review and a photo highlight of the night by SHIFTER’s Joshua Habtwold.
Rising Atlanta rapper and artist Kenny Mason has been elevating his sound and breaking out of his shell since his rising debut in 2019 with his buzzing single, “Hit”. From being a known name in Atlanta’s underground DIY scene to now being on a couple of well-known features such as “STICK“ (J.I.D. & J. Cole) & “Dance Now“ (J.I.D.), the ATL lyricist incorporates consistency, creativity, and versatility within his genre-bending sound and musician releases.
Through his 2020 debut album, Angelic Hoodrat, followed by the alternative version the following year, Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut, Kenny provides a variety of unique elements such as 90’s punk, grunge, and hip-hop in a multitude of releases that detail within various subject matters such as mental health, his environment in Atlanta, love, and much more.
By gaining lots of critical acclaim through many major hip-hop outlets (e.g., XXL, The Fader, Rolling Stone) to having one of his 2019 singles, “G.O.A.T.”, featured in season one of HBO’s hit show Euphoria to perform in many festivals such as Rolling Loud, Wireless Festival, & Bonnaroo, the ATL artist is becoming one of the major artists in the South to look out for.
Kenny released his latest mixtape, RUFFS, back in September through RCA Records and it is a continuation of his previous projects, in terms of the theme of duality inherent within its title, Angelic Hoodrat, representing the concepts of light within darkness, the beauty within ugliness, and hope within despair.
With features from underrated artists like Young Nudy, Jean Dawson & DavidTheTragic with the addition of standout tracks like “DIP!”, “SHELL”, & “333/ATOM”, the rapper promoted the project with his debut North American tour, the RUFFS Tour, and stopped at the only Canadian city on tour––Toronto.
On Wednesday, December 14th, 2022, at Toronto’s Axis Club, I managed to cover this phenomenal concert and it started with Atlanta-based rapper and DJ DvDx. DvDx opened up the show with some unique hits, including his most-known song, “Swag Super Stupid“. There was a lot of great energy and participation from the crowd. By incorporating a lot of unique styles such as hyperpop, rage rap, melodic rap, and much more, DvDx got the crowd going with his nice blend of autotune along with his clever lyricism, unique wordplay, and interesting flow, and he managed to sway the crowd all throughout his remarkable set.
It wasn’t long before Kenny hit the stage and lit the energy ablaze. He played a majority of tracks off of RUFFS as well as his past previous projects. He brought insane lyricism, quickfire flows, and stellar energy, eliciting crowd participation and interaction for each track.
During a break between songs, the ATL wordsmith expressed his gratitude for Toronto and his desire to perform in Toronto for a very long time. His Toronto fans felt very grateful when he said that, which brought an intimate vibe throughout the entire night. By incorporating a lot of emotional tracks along with high-energy other songs like “STICK” and “Metal Wings”, one thing I found interesting is that Kenny incorporates autotune in his set but he manages to use it skillfully, in contrast with his clever lyrics and deep melodies. As far as the rage-based tracks, he speaks on being a lover of mosh pits and he tends to call them “DOG PITS” as it pertains to his theme of dogs within his music.
With the remarkable crowd energy, singing verse for verse, and raging when a song like “STICK” is performed, Kenny Mason delivered an amazing debut show for his Canadian fans and the crowd delivered on that same level and energy as well. It was even more notable when the Atlanta artist played a snippet for an unreleased song and ended his set off with Westside and performed “Pretty Thoughts” and “333/Atom” as his encore. Overall, the energy was radiating even after the show, and I hope to see more from the Atlanta artist when he performs at other shows in Canada in the future.
Kenny’s latest mixtape, RUFFS, is out and available on all streaming platforms.