Rascal F. Kennedy x DJ Random Hero - DAKK

Some mixtapes are more than just mixtapes. They symbolize something bigger than the music.

For Rascal F. Kennedy, his newest mixtape Diary of A Kool Kid marks a turning point for the artist. It’s Rascal’s first full body of work since his Beach Day EP nearly a year ago. It also ushers in the emergence of Kennedy’s alliance with DJ Random Hero – the same DJ Random Hero who lurked in the liner notes of Rascal’s “Week of Rascal” releases – as the “Kool Kids.” But more importantly, it marks the start of Kennedy’s most ambitious year yet; he released it last Friday, in advance of spending this week in Austin for SXSW.

Fourteen tracks deep, Diary of A Kool Kid bears production from the likes of New Dersey Beats, MTF Mob, Noose Wayne, Yung Knight, Shaypz (on the THUMPING “I Got It”), and more. The features are kept to a minimum, with appearances from LOE (on album single “Better Than Them” and the hypnotic “High Off You”), James Curtis, and Devolotti.

There’s plenty of weed raps present on Diary, from the cleverly entitled “Herbitual Healing,” to “Elavator Muzik” with its tinkling keys. But Rascal’s Diary isn’t solely a smoke session on wax. There are also homages to the hometown (“To Houston, With Love,” obviously, and the slowed-down “Gold Spokes”). There are songs for top down weather only (“Southside”). And there are vulnerable “diary-like” moments, as well. “Deep Waters,” for example, demonstrates Kennedy’s storytelling ability when he speaks from the heart, dropping sage lines like “My head’s in the clouds/ I’m chasin’ my dreams, tryna make my mama proud” over a soulful ’70s sample and scaled-back beat courtesy of CMPLX. When the mixtape closes with the “To The Top,” it doesn’t feel like a conclusion. Rather, it feels like the beginning… of something bigger.

Stream Rascal F. Kennedy’s Diary of A Kool Kid mixtape for yourself down below; and grab the tape here via LiveMixtapes.