Kyle has plenty of reason to smile these days. After striking gold with “iSpy” — his Lil Yachty–featuring hit brimming with goofy charm — the rising Cali rapper is plotting his next big moves. He’s full of promise and unbridled positive energy, but he wasn’t always so self-assured. In fact, as the 24-year-old recently told MTV News, finding his own voice was a huge challenge.
“When I first started rapping, I just rapped about what I was taught to rap about. You know, guns, packs, big booties … things like that,” Kyle — who is MTV’s Push: Artist to Watch for the month of June — told correspondent Meredith Graves in a recent interview. “I was making this one song, and what I had just written was so unbelievably not me that I rapped it and laughed.”
Upon realizing he was only kidding himself by trying to fit the mold of a traditional rapper, Kyle embraced his goofy side and found his own voice. And he hasn’t looked back since.
“I dropped my rapper voice — the voice that’s not really mine — and I heard this voice come out that was just real in that moment,” he said. “I heard it when I played it back, and I was like, that part right there is tight. I was like, I need to do everything with this type of energy from now on ... it’s the type of energy I gotta put in all my songs because I feel like it was the way I would just come across authentic.”
Citing Ol’ Dirty Bastard as a key influence of his, Kyle further explained, “ODB’s style was so free. I always approach rap from that same standpoint of just being wild and doing whatever you felt.”
And thus, the “Super Duper Kyle” we know and love today was born. Witness his positive vibes with his live performance of “iSpy” below, complete with dance breaks and a flawless Lil Yachty impression.