By Lance Jordan, Sports Editor
Last year was another spectacular year for hip-hop. Early in the year, we were treated to Kanye West’s seventh studio album, “Life of Pablo”; Drake released his fourth studio album, “Views”; and Chance the Rapper blessed us with his third mixtape, “Coloring Book.” With so many big names putting out projects, it was hard to keep up with new and upcoming artists. I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t upset that the Ventura, California, native named Kyle escaped my radar.
My first exposure to Kyle came from his single “I Spy,” featuring Lil Yatchy. In “I Spy,” released last December, Kyle and Lil Yatchy sing about spotting cuties online.
The beginning of the song features Kyle and Lil Yatchy talking about how haters have affected their personal lives. Lil Yatchy gives Kyle advice, telling him that instead of focusing on the haters, he is supposed to focus on the beautiful things in life. Kyle has the first verse; he talks about smoking weed, infrequently responding to texts, and even the track itself, which he says won’t make the cut for his next album. In the chorus, Kyle sings, “I spy with my little eye, a girlie I can get ‘cause she don’t get too many likes, a curly headed cutie I can turn into my wife, wait, that means forever, ever, hold up, never mind,” which roughly translates to Kyle searching for girls on Instagram who don’t get as many likes as the unattainable girls who get millions of likes. From there, breakout artist of 2016 Lil Yachty adds his own perspective to the track, rapping about going from a nobody to gaining popularity after releasing hit songs.
After discovering Kyle, I decided to go back and enjoy his 2015 project, “Smyle,” which features another breakout artist of 2016, Chance the Rapper, on the track “Remember Me.” In the song, Kyle talks about people who were never there for him and how his newfound fame is bringing them back around. On the hook, Chance sings, “I said, you gon’ remember me, you say, what’s your name again? Finally don’t call and it’s alright, I’ll re-jog your memory.” Among other tracks I enjoyed were “SuperDuperHero” and “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love.”
Kyle’s particular musical style does remind me of Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, and Kid Cudi—meaning that Kyle is just as comfortable rapping as he is singing on his tracks. I was able to find “I Spy,” “Smyle,” and one other album from 2013, “Beautiful Loser,” to catch up on the future hip-hop superstar on Spotify. The songs on Kyle’s album do offer enough diversity as not to have listeners thinking that he is just the weed and party rapper he may portray himself as on “I Spy.” When it comes down to it, I believe Kyle can appeal to many different listeners in the hip-hop community and have them coming back for more.