Mixtape Review: Young Kye – Virgo Prelude
5 Dec 2011
Formerly known as Krafty Kizzle, Luton based grime MC Young Kye has returned to the scene with a banging new mixtape with a track for everyone, Virgo Prelude.
The intro begins with a dreamy, soothing pianist taking us into the world of Young Kye. Kye informs us that what we are going to be listening to will be ‘heartfelt’. He doesn’t go against his word, stating that “I give it all to the fans but I’m nervous cos what if it’s too late, or maybe that it’s early – but I’ve gotta cure this”. If the intro is anything to go by, the whole mixtape will be a story of Kye’s trials and tribulations in getting to the position he is at now, with some exceptional bars and some earnest lyrics.
The second track, BATE Freestyle, is a world away from the calming, emotional intro, with a considerably more conventionally grimey backing track – we learn that the subject matter is going to differ as well, as Kye lets us know that he “don’t like rumours, f*ck whoever told it”. The track is yet again a triumph; the bars are on point and delivery is passionate and genuine. What follows is a rap over Lily Allen’s Five O Clock, where Kye tells us a story of the troubles from his shotting days and the regret he feels now – a different take on the original track. A lot of the track is filled with Lily Allen’s chorus, but Kye doesn’t need to spit anymore than he does to put his point across effectively. Another chilled out track follows where Kye tackles the subject of a failing relationship, and the bars are delivered beautifully. The story is told with sincerity and authenticity – definitely something everyone can relate to in one way or another.
Nafe Smallz features on the next track, Pot of Gold Remix, where the subject matter this time revolves around money and the troubles surrounding fame. Kye and Nafe have potential to be the next big collaborative pair – they bounce off each other perfectly in the third verse where they explore the issues that come alongside earning money and the anxieties surrounding fake friendships and trouble on the streets. They both hold a mature viewpoint and do not go down the arrogant track, which could have been easy considering the subject matter. I Kill It features Young Kye’s old friend and Roll Deep member, south London based Manga. The mixtape seems to be heading back to a more typically grimey direction, in terms of both the backing track and the subject matter. Definitely a good track for real grime lovers. The following track, Still Got It, is good for the more commercially minded female listeners who want to hear Kye’s sensitive side, but not as catchy as the rest of the tracks. Not to fear though, because so far I am far from disappointed!
So, I am halfway through Virgo Prelude and so far I am loving it loving it loving it. The healthy mix of deep grime combined with the more laid back, chilled out hip-hop tracks is a pleasure to listen to and the content and subject matter Kye has tackled so far have been relevant and interesting. My favourite track so far is probably Domestic Violence, as I feel that Kye has really got it in terms of managing to relate with a lot of people on that one particularly difficult topic – relationships. His delivery is sincere and heartfelt, as promised in the introductory track, and this is something I expect from a song involving such a sensitive topic.
The second half of the mixtape treats listeners to the smooth vocals of Mavado in Every Gyal Freestyle. Clever wordplay and features from Young Emz and Lady Chann shoots this track straight back up to the exceptional quality we were experiencing in the former part of the first half of the mixtape. The devious lyrics in Paranormal Activity Remix are a refreshing break from the seriousness of the first half of the mixtape and the minimal backing track is the perfect choice as it enables the listener to focus on Kye’s vocation – his gifted, quick witted wordplay. Similarly, the next track, Dreams Money Can Kill, is over Drake’s less menacingly titled Dreams Money Can Buy. Kye explains his love for music and the game, and the sacrifices he has made for it. The brutal honesty is something I admire and the (again, very minimal) backing track, stating “don’t f*ck with me”, is another perfect choice for his haters and rivals.
The next track is overly familiar – radio and club hit penned by production maestro Labrynth, Earthquake. The topic of Kye’s love for the music industry carries on from the previous track, and I’m again impressed. Love Me For Me is another track focusing on issues in relationships, and the message is thought provoking. To save spoiling it, I’ll let you listen to it and judge for yourself. The outro, Exitus Mortis, is another soothing piano track. Kye recognises that he still has a long way to go in terms of fame, but the potential is definitely there and he knows it. Stating “never been shit but I came from the bottom – no homo init. Trap Gang but I’m solo init” reminds us of Kye’s modest roots. After Virgo Prelude I am left wanting more and more from Young Kye. He’s one MC that I’m definitely keeping my ears out for, along with Nafe Smallz, who is featured at the end of the mixtape with bonus track introducing us to the new rapper with the rather aptly titled My Name Is.
Overall, I can’t fault Virgo Prelude. Young Kye touches on a number of topics and delivers well in every single song. Only one song was less appealing to me (Still Got It) owing to the subject matter, which in my opinion is mundane, but even in this track Kye still manages to get his point across with a high level of intelligence in his wordplay. One of the main reasons that I feel that Virgo Prelude is a successful mixtape is owing to the fact that it will appeal to a variety of listeners – perhaps not so much the true grime lovers (apart from a couple of tracks) but the people who like hearing good hip-hop and R&B remixes, along with original productions, will be pleased.
As for subject matter, Kye doesn’t focus too much on one thing – certain other mixtapes out at the moment may sometimes focus a bit too much on topics like the streets, or gang violence – not something that everyone can relate to, but something a lot of artists forget. Therefore Virgo Prelude would be a great starting point for a new hip-hop fan, as it isn’t too hardcore in terms of complex wordplay and subject matter – not that this is disrespect to Young Kye at all because I believe that he was trying to achieve a mixtape with a wide variety of styles; if Kye wanted to produce a hardcore grime mixtape, he could. If he wanted to focus entirely on hip-hop, this would be no problem for him. Even overplayed mainstream tracks such as Labrynth’s Earthquake sounds refreshing when Kye spits over it, which is something that only a few artists can achieve. Overall, no fault found, if you know what you’re listening for. 5/5.
The highly anticipated Virgo Prelude mixtape from Luton based artist Young Kye.
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