Sean Kingston: Sean Kingston

This Jamaica-born, Miami-native, 17-year-old brings nothing but feel-good, dance music in his self-titled debut. Sean Kingston (Epic Records). Combining Hip-Hop, reggae, and a taste of old-school doo wop, Kingston doesn’t front trying to pose as a thug or show off his street cred, instead, like any teenager, he chases after beautiful girls and vents about the ladies he’s lost.He’s already reeling from the radio success of “Beautiful Girls” and “Me Love,” but within a mostly pop-filled album, Kingston manages to gives us a few gems. On “Dry Your Eyes,” Kingston shows respect for the most important girl in his life—his mom. Raised by his brother, Kingston reminisces about his mother being sent to jail: “Seventeen got a little money/Feelin’ kinda blue/Cause it's lookin’ you doin’ 10 to 20/Ridin bein’ broke ain’t funny/It's all bein’ hungry/But ima keep hustlin’ for my mommy.” A few tracks allow Kingston to redeem himself as more than just another pop icon, proving he has lyrical control. On “Drummer Boy,” Kingston raps “I’m marching with an army of kids/All my soldiers in the streets/Raise you’re arms like this/It’s a marathon/We’re here for the crown/So if you don’t diggin’ the movement/Get down.” But it’s on “Change” where Kingston strives for a better world in this anthem-like song. “Hope to see black people living longer/Also less kids without fathers/We should all come together/Please stop fighting and killing each other.”It would be hard to accept Kingston taking a serious tone with his debut album—that’s probably why he took the safe route and stuck to reggae-love songs. Tracks like “Got Not Shorty” and “Your Sister” purposely appeal to Kingston’s younger audience. Can’t blame a teenager for wanting to have a good time. On “There’s Nothing,” Kingston matches up with Paula DeAnda for another flawless rapper-diva duet that’s a staple in popular Hip-Hop culture. Kingston’s debut is guaranteed to provide summer-lovin’ dance favorites, but beyond that his artistic value tends to fall into the shadows of his pop favorites. The album is suffocated with hand-clapping beats and songs that almost sound the same—Kingston entertains but fails to impress.