If you ask a lot of people about Kyle, they’ll probably tell you he’s a corny rapper and his voice is annoying (which are things that I thought at first as well), but if you take time to get past that, you’ll actually see the substance in his music.
Take “Ups & Downs”, the opening track off his latest project, Light of Mine. The song opens with Kyle singing in a high-pitched voice about getting comfortable enough with someone to hit the blunt, which is something he rarely does. Following that, his first verse takes us into his mindset and how he experiences things such as depression, and his obsession with being critical of himself through self-deprecation:
Why is you rappin’ ’bout happy?
Think about all the bad shit that happens (ya)
You know that inside, you feel crappy
Okay, yeah, how did you guess?
Skrrt, I am a wreck
I set a record for bein’ upset
Truthfully, honestly, I am a mess
I am depressed, I am obsessed
With self-deprecating and blamin’ myself
Socially lyin’, denyin’ the help
I’m holdin’ up like pants missing a belt
This verse has Kyle sharing the things he deals with (possibly on a daily basis) and it’s somewhat refreshing to hear because it’s all laid out in such an upbeat way. This may have something to do with his cadence, but the instrumental adds to it.
Following the tone set in the first verse where Kyle discusses his “downs”, he uses the second verse to discuss his “ups”, where he emphasizes that even though all of this is happening, he knows things will be okay, and you can be happy if you put your mind to it. He even takes a minor jab at the incident that took place between Lil Yachty and Joe Budden:
There’s always two sides o’ the coin
Tell my man you gotta keep goin’
You blessed n*gga, you don’t even know it
Sittin’ there, lookin’ all stoic, hmm
Be stiff, you should be stoked, hmm
You can smile, even if you broke, yo
You could be a Budden or a Boat, true
Kyle then goes further to make sure that you, the listener, knows that you’ll be okay because it’s all in your mind:
Trust me, believe me, I been there too
Down on my luck, I was just like you
Singin’ the same damn sad old song
Boo hoo (yeah)
But you’ll be fine
It’ll all be fine
It’s just in your mind
As someone who suffers from multiple mental illnesses, songs like this are important to people like me. It’s always good to see artists being open about their personal struggles, especially when there’s such a negative stigma placed on discussing things like that. They are people too, and they struggle with things like this. However, when someone is speaking positively about it by expressing how things can, and will be better with time (maybe within a year like Kyle, if you’re lucky), it gives people hope and motivation to keep going – regardless of the ups and downs you go through.