I’ve always been a fan of hip-hop. I get excited when I hear a good beat, I appreciate good poetry, and more than anything, I feel a connection with a truthful story. Today we get to premiere a song called “Right Now” by CP and Kyle, two artists we’ve supported since the beginning. It was written when the two lived together in LA in 2014 and it tells the story of pursuing their dreams in the music industry. When asked about the back story, CP told me “we really lived every line of that record. From the front seat of the car to him fighting his brother in the house. It’s all real. That’s what I feel makes this song timeless.”
These are two guys who have been grinding for years and are starting to gain widespread recognition. Kyle recently released his sophomore album and is about to embark on a tour with Hoodie Allen and Blackbear. CP, who was originally a part of One Room, has proven himself with each release of his to be an incredibly talented producer, singer and rapper. They’ve both been featured on countless Tape Tuesdays, we’ve supported most of their releases, and we’ve gotten to know both of them as people and artists as they’ve been growing their careers.
The thing is, as an artist it’s easy to get lost in this world. Especially when you’re trying to prove yourself in a crowded space. But you can either fall into that trap or be different and make a name for yourself. Both CP and Kyle have consistently made unique music and by doing so have achieved the latter. They make music that embodies exactly what I love about hip-hop: it’s intriguing, it’s poetic, and it’s got a real story behind it. This song is a perfect example of that. And that’s the type of art I’ll always support. Get behind these guys; this is still just the beginning.
Stream the song below and hit the jump for full lyrics.
We can all agree that the best part of going to the movies is seeing the previews, right? And the best part of the previews is when you see that preview with a super stacked cast, right? What about when you get a super stacked cast on a song? I remember when a remix of Travis Barker’s “Forever” dropped and it had Drake, Kanye, Weezy and Eminem and I lost my shit. (Straight talk – I’d cut Drake and replace him with Kendrick, but beggars can’t be choosers.)
So Hoodie, Kyle and Blackbear just dropped a song together. AND they’re about to go on a tour together. That in itself is exciting, but what I dig even more about it is that they’re collaborating on a song, which likely means during the tour they’ll all perform together, which is one of my favorite things to see. (Straight talk again – headliners should always bring their opener out for a collaboration – people love that! And it’s respectful. Do more of that.) So shout out to Hoodie for doing that.
Get yourself out to a show – should be a super energetic performance by three dudes who pour their hearts and souls into their music. Hit the jump for more information on the tour and song lyrics.
I’m semi-famous, kinda aint shit, kinda sorta like almost made it, it’s like I went from star in the making to “oh yeah him, yeah I hope he makes it,” when the hell did all that begin?
I have a weird confession. I had not heard the “LA Girl” part of “Robocop” until I saw clips of Kanye’s recent live performance of 808s & Heartbreak on YouTube. I don’t know how this happened. I must have downloaded an unfinished version of “Robocop” from LimeWire when it leaked and never replaced it with the finished version! For years I have been unaware of one of the most beautiful album interludes of all time by my favorite artist of all time.
To make up for it and way overcompensate for that prior gap in knowledge, I made a mixtape inspired by “LA Girl.” It continues to highlight the recent upward trend of California-inspired art à la Gia Coppola’s Palo Alto, The Weeknd’s “The Hills,” and this past July’s Tape Tuesday The Hills Have Eyes.
Goin’ up in L.A., girl I know what you’re used to / Don’t worry ’bout a thing, we can just keep it simple
NOTE: The SoundCloud mix is missing track 13 (“Daddy Issues” by The Neighbourhood).
One of the biggest laments in journalism is that you can never get a sense of personality over the phone. That’s true for a lot of people, but not fast-rising 22-year-old MC Kyle, whose sheer attitude and energy ooze through even a quick chat while he hustles to a meeting in Los Angeles.
He pauses in the middle of answers to comment on a man who has parked himself in front of an automatic door, and goes off on a tangent when I ask him what flavor of chips he’s just purchased. But at no point does this come off as the Ventura, CA rapper being unengaged with the interview, he answers every question thoughtfully and deliberately, even as he weaves through clots of foot traffic.
His earnestness and ability to jump from subject to subject are two of the things that have helped Kyle grow a large, rabid fan base, all of whom are currently blasting his second LP, Smyle, on repeat. With thousands eagerly anticipating the follow-up to his rollicking 2013 debut, Beautiful Loser, Kyle said he did feel more pressure stepping back in the booth.
“I felt more expectation to actually try and say something. I felt more burden to make something that had a little more emotional effect on people. It wasn’t just about Kyle having fun anymore,” he confessed.
That sense of responsibility manifested itself in a more mature, and occasionally darker record, that goes places that his free-spirited first release didn’t touch on. The production is bigger, more varied and anthemic, while Kyle’s bars are sharper overall. Fortunately though, they’re not devoid of the sarcasm and wit that makes him so unique.
“I wanted to switch it up a lot, I wanted to be dynamic,” he explained. “There’s a lot of albums, especially ones right now, where they find a good formula like, ‘If I do this, I add these trap drums to this type of thing it’s gonna be a good song.’ And then they choose to make the same song 13 times with a slightly different topic.”
Smyle is most certainly not that type of record. Even when the tracks don’t entirely come together, you can’t help but applaud Kyle for stretching himself as an artist and not sticking to the electronic-influenced, synth-heavy sound that got him his first taste of fame.
“Even if I’m better at making a ‘Don’t Wanna Fall in Love’ than an ‘All Alright,’ I’m gonna try and do it because life is dynamic,” said the rapper.
Kyle’s gameness is one of his strongest qualities as a musician, and played a huge role in how one of Smyle’s biggest tracks came together. He first met Chance the Rapper while opening for the Chicago MC in Santa Barbara, and the two quickly became friends. It was during a late night studio session with producer Nate Fox, a member of Chance’s Social Experiment band, that single “Remember Me” came into the world.
“Nate came over to my house one time. It was one of those perfect dream type situations, where all the stars aligned. I’m sitting there working on a song with Nate and he looks up at me and says, ‘Chano’s here.’ I was like, ‘What? Really? In Skid Row at 3AM?’ And Chance was like, ‘You know what, I got something for this song…’ It wasn’t the typical, play a beat, write a verse songwriting. We really connected on the project.”
Over a bluesy, piano-powered instrumental, Chance croaks out the cigarette-stained hook, giving Kyle free rein to assess fickle relationships through the lens of his newfound fame. The candor and wit are expected at this point, but they’re used in new and exciting ways. Even though “Remember Me” is a somber record, it is a tremendous accomplishment for an MC establishing his footing.
Despite all of this, Kyle still has to deal with being branded as a “pop rapper” for his upbeat sound. While he’s not angry about it, he’s quick to make it known that that kind of shorthand simply misses the mark.
“Everybody wants to label something…but me I want to express all avenues, all the shit I was influenced by,” he said. “I have made a pop song, I’m not a pop artist. I’ve made a boom-bap song, I’m not a boom-bap rapper. I’m a rapper, singer, dancer, dude, artist, that just makes music.”
Nov. 1 @ Reggie’s Rock Club (Chicago, IL)
Nov. 3 @ The Studio at Webster Hall (New York, NY)
Nov. 5 @ Vinyl (Atlanta, GA)
Nov. 7 @ Fitzgerald’s (Houston, TX)
Nov. 10 @ The New Parish (Oakland, CA)
Nov. 28 @ The Majestic Ventura Theater (Ventura, CA)
People always want to know what’s next. That’s probably why you visit this blog or other blogs on a near-daily basis. You want new music to show to your friends and vibe to when you go out. I get it, but sometimes the cool thing is not the mysterious band from Belgium, who might actually just be two Siamese twins who have spent the last decade writing songs for other artists because they did not want to be the face(s) of their own music, until 2014 when they felt things were progressive enough to accept the first Siamese pop stars. Dang, that actually seems really interesting.
My point is sometimes the cool thing is the artist you have followed since 2011, who has morphed and developed a unique sound–in hip-hop, too, where you get many more followers than leaders. Hopefully with his new album These Things Happen, G-Eazy will cement his place as a leader in hip-hop. Honestly, that probably won’t happen, but at least the blogs know what’s next.
You and I, we’re made of glass, we’d never last
Music does not surprise me (and I think, you) as much as it used to. Yeezus is a recent album that actually surprised me, but before that I can’t really say an album in the past three years has done the same. I think the reason for this is that we’re constantly hearing ideas. On the Internet we get to hear thoughts before they are fully formed and by the time an artist has perfected that thought, we are bored of it and have moved on to the next hot concept.
CP has been sitting on some joints, carefully plotting and waiting to release them, and I have to say: they surprise me. We get chopped up samples and acoustic R&B/rap tracks. Pieces might not be a masterpiece, but it’s a change of pace from the expected bullshit that will ultimately get lost somewhere on the Internet. Don’t let this get lost. Share it with your friends or something. Support good music.
Download Pieces here.
This summer was a miracle. I started off with almost no plans and ended up going to London with my dad, spending the Fourth of July at the beach with my best friends, and interning with my aunt in Washington (D.C.). I think the biggest lesson I learned from these travels is that it is not about where you go, it is about who you’re with. “Beach Is Better” is not saying that weekend at the beach with my friends was my best trip. It is saying that you can make a “beach” wherever you go. And that’s always better.
- How Sad – Indian Summer
- Run the Jewels – Sea Legs
- Netherfriends – Uptown Boys
- Step Rockets – Kisser
- Jay Z – Beach Is Better
- Astronomyy – Things I’d Do for U
- Left Boy – Laying in the Snow
- Dewy Sinatra – I Need Love
- PARTYNEXTDOOR – Right Now
- Boy/friend – SOTL
- Shadow Shadow – Riviera
- Tor Miller – Headlights
- Sam Smith – Safe with Me
- Austin Paul – V V
- Dylan Owen – The Window Seat
- Noah Slee – Can’t Stop
- Bartoven – Domestics
- KYLE – Sex & Super Smash Bros
- denitia and sene. – stupid world.
Damn, I think this shit’s gonna hit the fan.
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
-Miguel Angel Ruiz
You and me’s just a fool’s paradise.
I used to watch a lot of movies. Early in high school my dad even joked that I had watched the most movies in the world for my age. For some reason or another in the past year, I just have not made time for one of my favorite mediums of entertainment. Over spring break I decided to change this. I just sat down, disconnected myself from online society, and engaged in the lost art of watching movies–but not just any movies. I wanted to watch films that would change my life: big movies with weighty concepts and twisted ideas. Movies that could warp my perception of things in a two hour runtime and make me re-evaluate how I would approach daily scenarios. I (re)visited the works of Charlie Kaufman, Woody Allen, and briefly, the Coen Brothers. Fool’s Paradise is an amalgamation of the inspiration garnered from watching Raising Arizona, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Manhattan. Also, as I explained to my friends, the first third is a great “turn up” playlist, and the rest is the opposite of that.
- Cold War Kids – Miracle Mile (Houses Remix)
- BenZel – Fallin’ Love (Alex Young Remix)
- KYLE – Fruit Snacks
- Phoenix – Entertainment (Blood Orange Remix)
- Andy Bull – Keep On Running
- Skizzy Mars – What Up Girl?
- CP – Spend The Night
- IYES – Glow (Demo)
- Float Fall – Someday
- Delta Spirit – California
- Mainland – Wasted
- Way Yes – Important
- Story Books – Simple Kids
- Hotel Cinema – Rabbit Hole
- Different Sleep – Get Ahead
- BenZel – Semi Detached (ft. Cass Lowe & Chance The Rapper)
- I Will, I Swear – Sleep
- Phosphorescent – Song for Zula
- The Colourist – Wishing Wells
Yeah then I saw love disfigure me / Into something I am not recognizing
Fresh off of the success of his album Smash, which produced international hits “Hello” and “Ready 2 Go,” Martin Solveig looked to collaborate with some of the brightest, young talent from around the world. The result is a sort of dream collaboration. We’ve been following Kyle for a while now, and this could be his biggest break yet. So cool that Martin put this together. Play this at a party/playground.
The Internet is a funny place. I learned of Kyle (formerly known as K.i.D), Chris P (half of One Room), and Carnage (a.k.a. Dj Carnage) through completely separate circumstances, and now they are all working together on the same label (the very cool Indie-Pop). I’ll be honest I was hesitant at first about posting Kyle’s stuff. But I like to think my iTunes play count doesn’t lie. While Kyle might not be the best rapper out, his songs are just so fun to listen to and incredibly relatable. He’s just a kid working and playing hard; I don’t know why he changed his name (but really, I bet it’s because of SEO shiz).
Listen to this jam and love the piano outro. That’s an order (sorry).
Bonus! Another Carnage produced hit from the young mastermind.
I’m not addicted to girls, but they’re addicted to meeeee!