You remember the first review I did for this site? The one on Lil’ Yachty’s recent mixtape Lil’ Boat 2? Ah, good times… even though it’s been 2 months. But you’re wonder why I’m talking about him now. Well, this has much to do with our next artist with an album out now and it is …..KYLE!!!!!
Yeah… OK then… SuperDuperKYLE!!!
Look, he was also known as either K.i.D, King Wavy or Kidd Kash, but I guess Kyle just stuck with him. Anyway, he’s a rapper-singer from Ventura, California, who has been doing things for himself since 2010 with some mixtapes here and there before he garnered widespread attention in late 2016-early 2017 with his hit song “iSpy” featuring the rapper that Rob and Alex loves to torture me with: Lil’ Yachty. As that song topped the charts, Kyle became a XXL Freshman that year, and I remember his freestyle being good during his cypher with Amine and A Boogie wit da Hoodie.
Now, a year later, he releases his debut album Light of Mine under Atlantic Records, and with only 15 tracks including the single “iSpy” (which was merely OK to me TBH), how was the album?
Well, this was an interesting listen throughout, especially with the concepts in the album as Kyle talks about his come-up and success, relationships both good or bad, and his past life experiences. All of it directly has that relatability that sees a little bit of us in him, although I don’t know if Lil’ Yachty would be my conscience, or as Kyle puts it: “like Jiminy Cricket.” Or as Yachty also puts it: “Yes, like Jiminy Cricket, you Disney-ass motherfucker.” Oh yes, Lil’ Yachty is very involved in this album as Kyle’s “Light” or conscience: someone that tells him everything is going to be all right and that it’s about that time to glow up and shine.
His style of rapping is goofy and endearing that can be close to annoying despite his adolescent nature, but thankfully, it doesn’t do that much, or at least it wasn’t trying to go that way. It can creep in there and make you go “WTF” at him, but you can tell he’s not that type of guy. Hell, you might think I’m crazy saying this but I was good with Lil’ Yachty as his conscience, and as someone who isn’t a Yachty fan (see my Lil’ Boat 2 review for that), he’s better-used in here.
But what of the songs? Well, I can say that the first song, “Ups & Downs,” is a good way to start out the album with him talking about how he went from being an unknown to where he is now. The two following tracks, “Coming, Going?” and “Ikuyo,” caught my ear more sonically in its production, with the former having this smooth, synthy, twinkling and 80s sounding production, and the latter starting off with a pre-chorus sung by singer Sophia Black in Japanese. Yes, she’s multilingual, and it goes like this:
and that translates to:
From anywhere, forever
Style is nice
Even though I’m killin’ it
It’s nice to see it from anywhere
There is also a 2 Chainz feature on here, and it’s adequately good for what the song was. “Games” does sound like a typical braggadocios song but uses video games to further his point along with the production that has an 8-bit sound on it. The album also has its fair share of love songs, whether it’s about the beginning of a relationship, the middle period of one, or a breakup. Examples of that include “Babies” with Alessia Cara, where they are feeling confused in the relationship and part of them still feels young as they’re maturing; “Playinwithme” where he and Kehlani talk about a significant other wasting their time, “playing games” aka fucking with them (hence the music video about them on a game show); and there’s “iMissMe” where he and Khalid reflect on the end of the relationship. Yet it sounded like it ended on a mutual note and doesn’t have that bitterness that most break-up tracks would have.
All those tracks I listed, while fine, are more on the ‘meh’ side for me when it comes to going back to them.
“It’s Yours” does provide the story of how Kyle lost his virginity. That track also gives you a reminder of the first time when you meet your significant other’s dad and how much of a scary motherfucker he can be while hoping you don’t get caught by the guy.
The production overall goes a lot of ways for me, as it has a lot of groove worthy beats from tracks like “Ikuyo,” “Coming, Going?” & “Games,” and it does go for that pop rap style that has some dated production that sounds like it was from 7 years ago with some cheesiness to it. It reminds me of the production that was on Amine’s debut album Good For You, but Kyle has the advantage of it being more interesting.
At the end of the day, this is an album that will mainly have an audience that’s actually very younger than myself, but while KYLE might not be a grand MC, he’s definitely an artist that’s got potential in what he does and can delve in typical topics you hear in hip-hop and R&B but in a more relatable and positive sense that doesn’t alienate the audience despite getting cheesy in a few areas. Oh, and the album made Lil’ Yachty tolerable for the most part.
FINAL VERDICT: Stream it. This little light of his does shine in many ways.
Light of Mine is available on digital download via independently popular./Atlantic Records.