Either the universe spawned another Common, or Kid Abstrakt isn’t afraid to let his influences show. Regardless of the situation, the young LA emcee knows how to vibe, and Dedicated to H.E.R., a smooth, jazzy compilation, proves just that.
Abstrakt’s a really nice rapper; he keeps things moving with his lively flow, gets in a punchline or two when he can (“You can’t stop me/right clicks couldn’t copy”), and has an earnest love for making good music. This is post-Kanye West hip hop that makes sense; sure, not everyone popped glocks before learning to rap, but that should not require every fledgling rapper to immediately bebop about swag, “YOLO” and other ridiculous trivialties.
And let’s not forget to mention the supple assortment of beats, which make the beat from “I’m On One” sound like a broken accordion. The tape starts off with the classic instrumental from Souls of Mischief’s “’93 till Infinity,” which itself turned jazz samples into a wonderful little melody, and only gets better with the feel-good of “I Love H.E.R.,” the subtle caress of piano and a “wah” sample on “NightSky,” and even to the minimal tones and rolling boom-bap drums on “RealEyes.” But the coup de grace, “ThisIsDope,” astounds not only with what sounds like a live band, but one of the best sung hooks I’ve heard period. As a sworn enemy of cheesy sing-song hooks, I can safely consider this one worthy.
Dedicated to H.E.R. assures listeners that DIY in not only hip hop, but music entirely, does not have to sound like a rough mix of booming vocals and instrumentals recorded in a trash can. Kid Abstrakt is smooth, stylish, and effortlessly real on each track, and by relation, so is the tape.
P.S. I have no idea who produced these tracks, but shout out to that person(s). If you see this, let me know and I will give due credit.