Kid Sensation – “Rollin’ With Number One” (1990)

Kid Sensation was still a teenager when his debut Rollin’ With Number One came out in 1990, but he was already well known in Seattle due to his association with Sir Mix-A-Lot. He spit some rhymes on Mix’s seminal Swass in 1988 but we all knew him for droppin’ a twenty and not even missing it, and having a plan thinking he was a superstar as Mix-A-Lot name-dropped him throughout the album. Rollin’ With Number One was released on the Swass-ster’s own Nastymix label and his influence can be felt all over the album, from the tracks he co-produced to the flow of songs like “Seatown Ballers”.

That’s not to say that Sensation put out a copycat album, however. He establishes his own vibe on “Hype It Up” and the dance track “Skin to Skin”. Like his mentor he mostly stays away from the gangsta trend that was dominating the rap scene at the time, sticking instead to the older, self-aggrandizing style that defined much of the mid-1980s. The notable exception is “Prisoner of Ignorance” which details a life of crime and was released as a video that featured Sensation rapping from an electric chair. Its flow and storytelling are reminiscent of Ice-T, an urban portrait of a young man who society gives no economic options other than crime. Kid Sensation, however, also makes a point of letting you know that all the money he makes is legit, telling us on “Legal” that the only thing the cops will find in his trunk is bass.

All in all, this album is much better than I expected it to be. As a first effort by a teenager working mostly on his own, there’s plenty for Kid Sensation to be proud of here.

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