I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about celebrities and how they got to where they are. I’ve mostly been thinking about actors and actresses, but I think a lot of what I’m thinking about applies to talented musicians as well. So my thought is that it’s funny how so many of us idolize these celebrities just because they’re on the big screen and always in the spotlight. But if you think about it, these were likely the weird kids growing up. While their classmates may have been on the sports fields, they were likely in theater or music class (I’m pushing the limits here…I realize that’s probably a generalization that isn’t fair to make). They probably got teased for being artsy and a little offbeat, because that’s just how young jerks are. We all knew them…lots of us probably were them. But then a handful of those artsy kids make it to Hollywood, or even to the big stages via a career in music, and suddenly the joke’s on us, right?
I started thinking about this and relating it to music after seeing the Justin Timberlake and Jay Z concert. I think Jay Z was probably always really cool, but something tells me Justin Timberlake might have been a victim of this teasing. He dances, he sings…growing up, boys tend to get teased for that. But classic case of this ‘joke’s on us’ theory, am I right?
So now I’m here listening to this Kyle album and particularly his monologue on the opening track. One line that stood out to me because of how perfectly it fits into this theory is ‘It’s a beautiful thing when a loser gets to live his dreams...I was writing plays instead of pounding beers.’ That’s it right there. From the sounds of it, he has devoted his life to making art…and it seems to be paying off. This is Kyle’s debut album, called Beautiful Loser, and it’s capturing the attention of a lot critics right now.
Several of the songs are classic 2013 hip hop: synth-laden beats and quick rhymes that throw out things like the names of nice cars, social media terminology, girls and sex. Those songs don’t stand out too much to me…they sound a lot like other hip hop songs, and they don’t really build on this character that Kyle introduces in his monologue on “This Is A Hit.” But what stands out to me in this album is Kyle’s raw flow–you can hear a little chuckle in his voice when he spits–and his blending of different genres throughout the album. Some songs are heavier electronic, some are more acoustic-pop sounding, others sound more inspired by jazz, and there’s even one track inspired by Super Mario Brothers. To me, it’s a sign of Kyle trying to keep things broad right now while he’s really just starting to make a name for himself.
It’s good to see people who took their own path growing up really pursue their dreams. It seems that Kyle is doing just that, and having fun while he does it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he continues to make a name for himself. I don’t think this debut album is going to propel him onto the big stages just yet, as I think there’s a lot of refining of his sound that he can do, but this is certainly the first step to getting noticed. Keep living your dreams, my dude.
The album’s official release is August 5th. Buy your copy on iTunes here.
Standout Tracks: This Is A Hit, Fruit Snacks, Focus On You, Love 4 You, When Can We, FUN