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Album Review: SURVIVORS GUILT: THE MIXTAPE// by KennyHoopla and Travis Barker

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Kenneth La'ron, or better known by his stage name, KennyHoopla, is a songwriter and singer/rapper from Ohio. With KennyHoopla on the mixtape is Travis Barker. Travis Barker is a musician and producer from California. He is most notably known as the drummer for Blink-182. In more recent years, he has been collaborating and producing albums for hip hop acts. Together, they're able to produce KennyHoopla's debut mixtape, SURVIVORS GUILT: THE MIXTAPE//.

The first track from the album is silence is also an answer//. It opens up quietly with some synths as well as some quick vocals. After the introduction, the guitar and drum sections finally come in to kick off the mixtape. I wish they would have took advantage towards the end before the final chorus since it just seems rushed and anti-climactic. Other than that, I can't complain about the vocals and my first dive into KennyHoopla's music.

estella// was one of the earlier singles for this mixtape and was teased by Travis Barker earlier in 2020. Unlike the previous track, this track is straight to the point with the energetic guitars and drums right at the get go. Other than that, the vocals seem a lot better and more coherent on this track, but it's a little hard to decipher what's going on based on the lyrics. It seems like he's talking to this one girl, but it seems like it may be more of a fling than something serious.
 
turn back time// opens up with some short, bright, and staccato guitar notes. The guitar seems familiar from somewhere, but I'm definitely enjoying the vibe I'm hearing from this track. Even if that part generally cuts down during the chorus, the track always comes back to that part. On this track, he wishes he could turn back time since he messed up on what he was going to say to this person. It seems like he's been living with regret for not going after this person.
 
After that track, we come to the title track of the mixtape, survivors guilt//. Not sure what I was expecting from this track since it opens up quietly with a percussive beat. Even after that, it seems pretty minimalistic with an acoustic guitar. The screaming vocals just throw me off since it doesn't really fit with the style he's screaming in. I'm all fine if there's screaming on the tracks, but he may need to work on it for more emphasis.

hollywood sucks// opens up with some amazing riffs. This was another promotional single for the mixtape and I can see why since it's high energy and a banger of a track. Travis Barker also does a killer job with the drums on this track. Just as what you would expect from the title of the track, he talks about why he hates Hollywood and why he thinks it sucks. There are plenty of generalizations about Los Angeles, but I can't really say any of them are false.

inside of heaven's mouth, there is a sweet tooth// is another track that opens up with high intensity, and then of course cuts back once the vocals come in. The vocals at the beginning are definitely throwing me off since there's an echo that just seems to get muddied up while he's singing. As I was saying earlier, I mentioned that he needed to work on his screaming. However, he seems to have it down much better on this track which makes this a standout track on the mixtape.

smoke break// opens up with a running riff from the guitar. I'm not really sure how to feel on this track since it just seems like an average early 2000s pop punk track. It's not necessarily bad, but I just feel like it's something that has already been created so there's not as much creativity on this track alone. Also, I doubt this is what he's talking about, but I can't help but think about Yu-Gi-Oh when he talks about challenging someone to a 'duel' and a 'rematch'.

The final track we have on the mixtape is 9-5 (love me)//. A lot of ending tracks are usually on the slower and quieter end, and that's what I was expecting from this track. That's how it started out as for the first minute, but then it livens up for the chorus. We mostly have a quiet acoustic guitar and some strings. As for the chorus, the drums come in and we have more electric guitars and bass. After this track, I'm just wanting more from him.

Overall Rating: 6/10
Favorite Tracks: turn back time//, hollywood sucks//, inside of heaven's mouth, there is a sweet tooth//
 
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