Kid Sister is actually the older sibling to Flosstradamus DJ, Josh “J2K” Young, who put her on emcee duties at monthly parties in Chicago. This legendary local following led to national recognition landing the girl two (!) Urb Magazine covers before she had an album out. Soon, Kid Sis would find herself dating DJ A-Trak, who just happens to be Kanye West’s DJ (as well as an amazing turntablist), leading to a moderate hit single and video called “Pro Nails”, with an appearance from the Louis Vuitton Don himself.
Ultraviolet is her long awaited debut album, which is met with mixed results. Kid Sister’s rhyme style channels early 80′s femcees like Salt ‘N Pepa, as she delivers lyrics with one finger up and a rotating neck, with over-the-top ghetto accent in tow. While clearly an homage to the founders of this sub-genre of hip-hop, while her schtick may be as put on as her nails, she has no problem making it work.
The style of production found on Ultraviolet is retro-futuristic, if that makes any sense, as executive producer A-Trak’s team of producers fuse sounds of the 80′s and 90′s with modern styles of hip-hop and dance music. The lead single “Right Hand High” bangs in the club like the beat belongs to Missy Elliot, actually produced by Swedish House Mafia producers Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso. This leads perfectly into “Life On T.V.” produced by French electro house composer Yuksek, who adds 80′s synth-hop flair to Kid Sis’s melodic party jam.
However, the retro styles can also work against Kid Sis from time to time. “Big N Bad” is a risk, considering it’s cheesy jacking of a Yaz sample, while the Zapp inspired “Step” (feat. Estelle) takes things too far in a post-Chromeo world. The biggest misstep of all is what seems to be an En Vogue tribute track, “You Ain’t Really Down”, where Kid Sis flexes her vocal chops over a ridiculously (albeit intentionally) dated track. But this acts as a mere segue to her superb 2007 debut club-banger, “Control”, so who can be mad?
Taken for what it is, Kid Sister’s Ultraviolet is a solid hit-pop album that surprisingly looks outside the box for it’s sound, thanks to A-Trak’s executive production. Given this fact, it’s team of producers are established but underrated, qualified but overlooked, which keeps this LP from being a shining beacon in a sea of cookie cutter albums from her peers produced by Timbaland, Neptunes, Danja Handz, etc. It should be also noted that A-Trak sequenced this thing like a mixtape, with songs blending into one another *in key*, giving it a truly cohesive, complete sound.
But it’s not all in the production, either. Kid Sister is an original act who rhymes on the mic with the attitude, finesse, cadence, and confidence of the most experienced party rocking emcee. While her subject matter may boil down to partying and fashion, she delivers it like a pro. No, this isn’t Nietzsche, but it’s a whole lot of fun.
Ultraviolet is not an album that is meant to be placed in high regard next to game changing albums like Paid In Full or The Chronic. Instead, Kid Sis goes for disposable fun with reckless abandon – how else would you explain a juked out track like “Switch Board”? There’s no need for explanation. Sure, you might not be listening to this at home while wearing a smoking jacket sitting in your recliner, but you’ll be moving to it in the club after a few drinks like it’s your shit. – DJ Pizzo
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