The Atlanta native’s third full-length project not only impressively fleshed out his August EP, Pup Pack, but extends his signature rock-infused sound beyond its previous confines. Combining the classic bounce of Atlanta with glitchy rage and heavy metal, Kenny melds notes of grunge crooning with bar-heavy verses effortlessly, as RUFFS proves to be all bark and all bite.
A rock-rap banger tape filled with infectious guitar licks, samples and versatile song structures, Kenny flexes his skillset on early highlights like “NOSEDIVE,” “BOA” and “SHELL”. Featuring guest talent in Jean Dawson, Amindi, DavidTheTragic! and Young Nudy, there’s a sense of freedom in the underlying themes of RUFFS — allowing Kenny to both body and build on the lane he’s leading altogether.
Majorly produced by Coupe, Mason doesn’t “mind being the bad guy / if it comes with a bad bitch.” Unfiltered and rising to occasion of his newfound star status, Kenny offsets the project’s rockstar energy with slower cuts like “RX,” “BLACK HEART” and “WESTSIDE.” However, Mason peels back the many layers of his life experience — rapping about the sights and situations embedded within his immediate surroundings. “Good Kid in da city but I was raised in da MAAD parts / Blood on the asphalt, my brudda was half out / my mama had passed out,” he spits on “SHELL” — offering a greater sense of Atlanta’s wargrounds depicted by the intrepid tales he tells. It’s all real for Kenny, though, making the RUFFS experience sonically polished yet “RUFF” around the edges.
RUFFS is Mason’s first full-length tape since 2021’s Supercut. Leading in the project with the lively 3-track Pup Pack, Mason brought forth a pair of visuals coinciding the short yet robust EP — introducing the sounds and artistic perspectives RUFFS portrays throughout. “Get An Idea,” which dropped on the eve of Pup Pack’s release, and his latest “Dip!” showcase Kenny’s creative evolution and arc as an artist in its purest form.
His track presence, vocal prowess and unique genre-bending abilities fully captivate new wave audiences — providing a familiar yet left-of-center niche unique to the current landscape of our generation’s rising talent. Only “Dip!” and “HALLOWEEN” landed on RUFFS — adding 14 fresh-pressed tracks to his hair-banging record.
Since releasing his debut album, Angelic Hoodrat, in 2020, it’s clearer than ever that Kenny is taking over his niche of the game — letting himself off the leash upon RUFFS’ arrival.
Listen to Kenny Mason’s ‘RUFFS’ below!