The Break Presents: Kyle
Kyle is a 22-year-old rapper from Ventura, Calif. who just released his sophomore LP, Smyle. The MC has been putting in work over the last couple of years since his debut album Beautiful Loser and is starting to turn heads. The young upstart bleeds positivity and can rap plus sing with the best of them. With a growing active fan base behind him and strong team of creative minds, the sky is the limit for Kyle.
"I never had a plan B; I would walk around with my head up in the clouds like, 'I'm going to be a famous singer/rapper person one day,'" he told XXL while in NYC. "My family was really reinforcing that. I had the type of family who would tell all their kids, 'You're going to be president.'"
Get to know Kyle in this week's edition of The Break.—Emmanuel C.M.
Hometown: Ventura, Calif.
I grew up listening to: This is going to sound weird, but Jadakiss. That was my favorite rapper. I love Jadakiss. The LOX, Styles P, Sheek Louch, all of them. I even love the other members who didn’t stick around, like Jae Hood. I heard “Why” and I think that’s when I first started learning about Jadakiss. My mom’s boyfriend was a huge Jadakiss fan and had me bumping all types of mixtapes, freestyles; I was memorizing his Hot 97 freestyle and shit. Which then got me into everybody else in the LOX and then a couple years later I'm downloading Jae Hood mixtapes. It got deep for a second.
I always been writing songs since I was like six. I was listening to Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Frankie Laine and people like that. I was just in the backyard writing songs. But I didn’t know what rap was until I was like 10, until I heard my first rap song, ODB's "Baby, I Got Your Money." I was already doing poetry. I won a poetry competition. When I heard my first rap song and figured out what that was, I kind’ve stuck to it. I always wanted to be a musician in general, an entertainer. I just started rapping. I never decided, "Oh, I want to be a rapper."
Most people don’t know: I ran track and I was really good at it. I was really fast. I was almost champion, damn near should be because I had the fastest time in the whole county, but when it came down to the championship, I lost by a millisecond. I ran the 400. When I was in 10th grade I ran a little under a 52’.
My style’s been compared to: My style has been compared to someone probably like the Fresh Prince. I’ve been compared to Drake before and Kid Cudi. But mostly Fresh Prince. I don’t think anyone has the same music sound as me. I can’t think of anyone else. This is some new shit. It’s like new futuristic-type New Jack Swing rap, if that make sense.
My standout records and/or moments to date have been: Standout record is probably “Keep It Real.” That was probably the first record that kind of cracked for me at the time. I was like, man, I never got this many plays. I was at Six Flags tripping. I was super nervous with getting on rides and people started telling me, Yeah, 'Keep It Real' just got like 200K plays in one day." We had never expected to get any amount of views.
My goal in hip-hop is: I just want to be able to make an impact on the masses. I want to make an impact on people. Like John Lennon writing “Imagine,” a song that changes an entire generation of people. Really just changing the world. I just want to reach a point where I have an opportunity to impact the entire world with one song.
I’m going to be the next: Myself. I think I just have different aspirations than saying I'm going to be the next somebody. So, the next artist to make music that's genre-less. The next artist to make music that anybody can listen to and appreciate.
Standouts: “Really? Yeah”
"King Wavy" "iThoughtWeWereNiggas" "Angel"