Killa Kyleon: shining

Killa Kyleon is guilty pleasure summer music, and as the weather turns nice you might want to have some Killa on hand.  Yesterday he laced the world with a lush video about the pleasures of sitting in his car.  Over the 2010 Sade sound, he just does it with ease. “Kevin Bacon kush I’m coughing so I’m on my footloose.”

No question Killa Kyleon has a fantastic flow.  Mostly he basically rhymes as if his words were the snare drum, but he has a crisp double speed flow and varies his tone enough to actually match the melody of tunes, not just hitting the beat.  What I love is that he rhymes, but he also plays his words — picking consonants at the right places to make the vocals stand out.

I can recommend both of his recent mixtapes: Candy Paint and Texas Paint and Natural Born Killa. Topically, Killa Kyleon will tend to repeat themes about money, sex, guns, cars, drink, and weed.   Despite the predictable rap tropes, Killa picks some innovative similes and can really play with the words.  Consider the “Moon and Stars Remix” with Curren$y and Big K.R.I.T. is a great tune, and honestly I think Killa K. offers up the nicest verse.

A former member of Boss Hogg Outlawz, Killa K. was introduced as a lyricist.  From a 2008 interview with Slim Thug and the rest of the BHO Slim runs down all of the members, describing Killa Kyleon thusly: ” Killer Kyleon is the most lyrical cat. I think he’s up there with Lil Wayne when it comes to lyrics.”

via Slim Thug and the Boss Hogg Outlawz Interview – UGO.com.

I can’t vote for all the verbiage about  his “bitches” and “boppers,” but like Curren$y it seems like his sexism is casual laziness.  Without excusing or justifying his bias, it is worth talking about the particular frames of sexism presented in Killa Kyleon’s work.   In most of his tunes women aren’t really present, when they do show up they are positioned simply as arm candy like the women in the “Moon and Stars” video.  Killa is more likely to brag about being pursued by women, or comment that so little time he has for women because he is working so hard (“married to the game, you know I got a bad wife,” from “I live it”).   When he does give a full song’s treatment to “pussy,” he shares the track with New Orlean’s up-and-comer Allie Baby for some mild bragging.

I doubt it matters very much what Killa Kyleon says– in the era when Common is attacked as a gangsta rapper, there is really no reason at all for any emcee to second-guess their own prejudicial lyrics.  It is obvious that the medium by which you have chosen for expression will convict you even if you rapped about Strawberry Shortcake.   But I’m not interested in prosecuting, I’m curious about how entwined the sexism is for Killa’s persona, and it doesn’t seem like it is central to what is going on in his raps.

What is central to his rhymes is the place he lives (Texas) and his car.  He joins Texas legend Z-ro for “Swang real wide” on Candy Paint and Texas Paint and the big state automotive smoothness is at an all-time high. Killa:  “Big wheels looking like a wagon, buttons on it looking like a suit/maroon paint looking like an agate, butter seats in my candy coupe/I got no top, decapitated, got the ladies infatuated they fascinated with the way I roll but it keep the haters so aggravated.”

Kyleon’s beats are likely to be both head-nodding and sluggish, open canvases for him to write verses filled with expressive comparisons and crafty double entendres.  If you can handle the topics and the lingo, then pursue Killa Kyleon for his lyricism and talented rapping.

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