Rapper Kyle, like so many acts, has been profoundly shaped by his hometown. His breakout “iSpy” hit (featuring Lil Yachty) is the perfect soundtrack for the idyllic beach town of Ventura, where Kyle moved to from LA when he was 12. The Billboard-charting track allowed him to make noise all over the country, but he’s never forgotten where he came from. “It’s almost like without this place I lack inspiration,” Kyle says of Ventura.
In our latest episode of Honda Backstage, Kyle goes back to where it all started. He takes us to the Ventura High School drama building that helped him break out of his shell. He admits to his drama teacher that he was once “shy,” but now he’s dropping bars and pulling off super-duper dance moves on stages all over the country.
Kyle’s career has been marked by continuous highs, but he experienced a tremendous low last December when his beloved Ventura was devastated by treacherous wildfires. He took us to the remains of his childhood home in a harrowing moment. “The news crew was on my street, and very quickly you start feeling super powerless,” he recalls of the fire that destroyed his childhood home.
It was impossible for Kyle to wallow in that feeling, however. He soon exercised his power by performing at the Thomas Fire Benefit Festival, which raised relief funds for wildfire victims. The hometown hero’s energetic set was a ray of light in a dark time. It was there where he gave the perfect summation of his love for Ventura: “There’s a difference between somewhere you live, and a home.”
Check out the video above to see Kyle talk more about what Ventura and home means to him.