There’s proof that hip-hop is of great importance to young kids, whether or not they’re good at rapping. Studies have shown how powerful music can be for inspiring underprivileged communities and supporting undeserved students. Learning music at a young age can offer powerful cognitive boosts that could do wonders in closing our current achievement gaps. Not only that, hip-hop’s complex lyricism and wordplay makes it an excellent tool to help increase verbal fluency, broaden vocabularies and teach literary concepts such as metaphor and personification.
Hip-hop can also be a way to show how to be a good person in the world as well as a tool for creative expression. Whether all of the above apply to 13-year-old Fairfield, Ohio-based rapper/producer KIDx is still to be seen, but for sure his rap is legitimately excellent for someone his age.
Signed to the American hip hop label Ballaholic Music in July 2016, KIDx is also a member of the hip hop production duo Ballaholic Boys with HULKx. He very recently dropped his 5 track mixtape entitled, “From Above”.
Fans and haters alike will abound after listening to this recording, as his is the age of angst and insecurity, but at his young age KIDx is positioning himself in a perfect light to spread hip-hop’s inspirational and entertaining aspects. He recognizes his art forms’ ability to communicate, and he’s clearly setting his sights on sending his messages far beyond Ohio.
The odds are stacked fairly firmly against KIDx in almost every regard, despite his impressive drive and clear talent. Hip hop has traditionally been built upon a bedrock of authenticity (or at least the faking thereof), and it is hard to imagine the community being welcoming of a 13-year-old kid off the back of a 5-track mixtape. It would seem that he is being set up for a fairly spectacular fall, whichever way you cut it.
But if KIDx feared such an outcome he would hardly have put himself up to the challenge. Hence tracks such as “Limit” (Prod. By Cxdy), “Hitman” and “The Greatest” serves to showcase both his technical proficiency, and the pop-friendly production of his mixtape.
And his artistic trajectory across these tracks is impressive, to say the least. Forget about the ‘authenticity’ and ‘real’ tags for the moment and concentrate on the kid’s wordplay, flow and all-round technical ability. Those are the things that tell you whether he will last long enough in the game to forge the ‘being real’ nonsense further up the road.
The overall feeling is that if KIDx can keep spitting with the passion, intelligence and verve shown on “From Above”, then one day he might just pull it off. And even if he doesn’t, he will have done something remarkable. He would have proven once again that hip-hop is a vital and essential art, regardless of age…or commercial success.