“Create a portrait and then morph it.” —K-Son

Coming straight out of Columbus, Ohio, K-Son—a rapper and producer—is putting on for hip-hop. His latest mixtape, Before The Green Light, is the calm before the metaphorical storm that he’s been in the lab concocting. Made of predominately of freestyles, he traverses a few prevalent themes: hip-hop has become stagnant, and he’s on the verge of walking away. Across a bevy of instrumentals, such as LL Cool J “Loungin” and Jay-Z’s “Blueprint 2,” he dismantled the current power structure in the game with barrages of punches like, “It’s all about the politics not about the hottest shit.”

While it’s possible to point out the slight irony of using unoriginal instrumentals to blast an unoriginal state of rap, he makes up for it with his content. Where he shines, though, is his original material, such as the aptly titled “I Don’t Wanna,” where he describes the challenge of remaining motivated while failing to receive the recognition he deserves in an industry that seems to reward mediocrity. He even gave this track a video treatment. “B.K.S (Best Kept Secret)” is another track definitely worth checking out. His cadence almost sounds like Ludacris in his prime.

This mixtape does feel a bit long, especially as K-Son doesn’t waver too far, making some of the freestyles feel redundant—bars aside. Deep Cover and So Gone have been done to death, and feel like unnecessary additions. Still, there is more than enough solid content here to build a buzz for the Green Light. K-Son has one goal in mind: to generate the music that doesn’t just lull you to sleep with repetitive melodies and “industry standard” hokey-poky choruses. If you’re looking for a ride to somewhere—anywhere—else, hop on. Check out the mix tape here.