Review: Kid Sister – Ultraviolet (Downtown)

Kid Sister’s debut was shelved last year, but it’s finally out. This is club hip-hop, dance-rap, and I like it. Read why here or below.

How many times has Kid Sister’s debut album been delayed now? It sounds unbelievable, but it’s been about a year since Ultraviolet was supposed to have been released. There better be a damn good reason why she and her producers, including France’s Yuksek, the ubiquitous Lil’ Wayne, and longtime champion A-Trak, pushed this one back for so long. To be honest, having reviewed the original shelved album, it’s not immediately evident why. The track selection is different, and this new version plays more like a mixtape than a regular album, a nice touch. But, for the most part, the differences are probably more evident to Kid Sister herself than to the listener. But hey, an artist tweaks her work.

Ultraviolet is club hip-hop through and through, the bubbling, techno-influenced beats providing a perfect backdrop for Kid Sister’s playful, bouncing cadence and party rhymes. The album’s opening track, “Right Hand Hi,” encompasses this aesthetic perfectly. Euro-house keyboards provide an epic background for the sung chorus, before Miami bass and a syncopated kick drum find Kid Sister matching the sportive tone with her rapping. The same goes for “Big N Bad,” an early-morning Stockholm nightclub banger if you’ve ever heard one.

“Life on TV” is one of the album’s best songs, a holdover from the original track list, reaching levels of unadulterated exhilaration when Sister jubilantly shouts out phrases like “Peep game!” or “The bass, the bass, the treble, treble!” “Pro Nails,” another holdover featuring Kanye West, is a track you’ve probably heard if you’ve been tracking the album’s delay. But some of the new additions are key collaborations, including “Step,” featuring Estelle of “American Boy” fame (actually a substitution for another collaboration from the original), and “Daydreaming,” featuring Gnarls Barkley’s Cee-Lo. David Banner’s guest spot from the original album, however, didn’t make the cut.

Ultraviolet is a fresh, inspired, silly, infectious, danceable hip-hop record. Its club leanings may make it a hard sell for hardcore hip-hop heads, but the masses, primed by Lady Gaga and M.I.A., may ultimately embrace Kid Sister’s dance-floor rap.

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