After proving his mainstream appeal with the US top ten smash ‘iSpy’ early last year, Ventura, California rapper KYLE has followed up with his anticipated new album ‘Light Of Mine’.
Boasting the existing singles ‘iSpy’ with Lil Yachty and ‘Playinwitme’ featuring Kehlani, his official debut for Atlantic Records walks a line of optimism, self-depreciation and tongue-in-cheek humour that has the album’s narrator Lil Yachty calling him a “Disney ass motherfucker.”
Built upon the sound that he’s established through his mixtapes ‘Smyle’ and ‘Beautiful Loser’, ‘Light Of Mine’ continues to draw from the KiD CuDi records that inspired him to start recording, and the Weezer songs he would hear on the radio in his mother’s car: an accessible brand of melodic rap that will be comfortable to Top 40 listeners and aims to help those in need of a mood lift.
To celebrate the release, KYLE picked out some of his personal highlights from the album - including collaborations with 2 Chainz, Alessia Cara and Khalid - to share the stories behind the songs...
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I like blending two things that aren’t necessarily meant to be together, to really show people that they actually work perfectly together. In this instance I do it with Sofia Black - she’s actually a Japanese artist who speaks Japanese - I had her just rap on a trap beat and then [added a verse from] the most authentic trap rapper (2 Chainz).
The hook is in Japanese, and it ended up working so well. I feel like a mad scientist to a certain degree; I love how that song turned out. If you dissect Japanese lyrics, she’s talking about how her style is really untouchable and there’s not really any way anybody can bring her down. That’s kind of the topic of that song.
The Japanese part translates to: “From any angle, from any way I look at it, until the end of time, my style and my life are fantastic. I’m forever killing it. Even though I may have my worries, from any angle, I’m fantastic.”
So ‘Babies’ is really about, you know, I’ve had a girlfriend for a really long time and we tend to fight about the dumbest shit - so continually that I wonder what’s wrong with us? Like, why do we fight about some shit that we will be over in two hours, or two days, or two week or however long? Why do we continue to do that? I then came to the realisation that both my parents have separated, her parents are separated, we never necessarily had a good representation of how to properly be in a relationship with someone.
We’re just still learning. I accepted that there is going to be bumps and bruises along the way because we’re still learning how to love. Not that everybody is learning how to love, but if I could accept that I could accept our relationship for what it is and appreciate it. That’s why it’s called ‘Babies’ because we’re just two little kids trying to figure out something.
It’s weird because I have all these friends who [are] develop[ing] into being superstars. When I sent Alessia [Cara] the song I think what had her most sold on it was the concept and that’s what I really love about the features on this album, from Alessia, to Khalid, to Kehlani. These are people who are all incredible songwriters, and Alessia really took her time to tell a very vivid and very personal, touching story. Which was great.
I feel like anybody in a relationship, I would recommend them to listen to that song most on the album.
I feel like in life one of the ways you can find yourself emotionally drained, or just like not really feeling your best, is when you’re giving out so much attention and so much energy and so much of your love to all these other relationships, and you forget the most important relationship, which is the one with yourself. That’s what ‘iMissMe’ is about. It’s really about rekindling that love that you have for you; and how important it is to maintain that.
Khalid did such an awesome job killing that topic too. He’s such an incredible songwriter that his story for it is very honest and very eye-opening. He’d have to tell you about it though because it’s him. Making that song with him was really sick; we just sat down and talked for hella long. We had two studio sessions where we just talked and then on the third studio session we actually made the song. So for the first two he just sat there and we just talked. He’s a really cool person.
That’s the story of me getting it on with my girl for the very first time, and it’s completely biographical. When writing the song I really had to dig deep into the memory bank to revisit that story exactly. I remembered it all. I really took my scooter road down the hill, like, 27 minutes to get to her house.
I really had to wait for her dad to leave. I really had to hop the fence. I really had to sneak in. So the back story to that song is particularly special cause it’s so true and honest and like you’ll never forget that day you know. I kind of really told that story like detail for detail.
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'Light Of Mine' is out now.
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