Kyle’s ‘Light Of Mine’ Reminds That No Matter How Bad Things Get, There’s Always A Reason To Smile

Atlantic Records / Independently popular.

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“2016 hit me like a bag of bricks / 2017 switched up like ‘Ooh, it’s lit.”

So, Kyle, how do you know my life so well? Seriously, if there was ever an album I was going to relate to spiritually, how is that this kid from Ventura, 80 miles away from where I grew up in Compton, so tapped into my emotions?

I don’t know. I doubt I’ll ever know. But damn if Light Of Mine isn’t my pick for the album of the year already purely off the strength of those two lines from its bubbly intro.

It’s a long-held, open secret in rap that almost no one actually lives the content of their raps; if everyone was selling as much cocaine as they boasted about, there wouldn’t be anyone left to buy it all — and everyone would promptly go to prison. Rap is a movie that is constantly playing, and everyone has a role to portray. Kyle started out the same way, flexing empty, retread brags about guns and drugs, until he realized that however convincing he could make those songs, he’d be creatively unfulfilled.

For me, none of that stuff has ever been all that appealing, simply because I grew up around it, but not directly involved in it. I can’t relate to songs “for the hustlers,” but worse, their tales don’t sound exciting, intriguing, or interesting to me. They remind me of harrowing nights awakened by drug raids taking place across the street, shootouts next door, and the chaos and fear and paranoia that swirls around the gangland stories that rappers tend to glamorize. There is a human cost and real victims, and I related to them more than anyone.