“He’s the guy on ‘iSpy’ who’s not Yachty” was a sentence I repeated various times earlier this month. I was talking about Super Duper Kyle, the California rapper who skyrocketed to fame last December when he dropped his charming single with Lil Yachty, and who made his way to DC on April 4.
Kyle started his career back in 2010, but like many, I only started listening to him after “iSpy” started topping charts. So when I bought tickets to see him with two of his day one fans, I knew I’d have to do my homework.
Over the following months, with the help of Spotify’s “This is: Kyle” playlist, I fell in love with Kyle’s bubblegum rap and the stories he tells about Super Mario and curly haired cuties. By the night of the show, I was ready.
Sporting our curls, my friends and I made our way to the U Street Music Hall. It wasn’t too long before the opening act, Cousin Stizz, took the stage. Stizz hails from Boston, the subject of most of his songs. His honest raps about coming of age in Dorchester among drugs and violence made for a meaningful performance, and his joyful energy excited the crowd for the rest of the night.
After an anticipative wait, the room went black and neon lights slowly took over a screen behind the stage. The lights went on to create an image reminiscent of Nintendo video games, and a man who presented himself as Brick, seemingly Kyle’s hype man and best friend, took the stage. Brick played a mix of songs, ending with Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” and a beyond animated crowd. He proceeded to welcome Kyle to the stage.
Kyle’s intoxicating happiness is difficult to articulate, but is comparable to the energy Chance the Rapper emanated when I saw him last October. Like Chance, Kyle filled his show with choreographed dances, goofy banter, and lots of smiles. At one point, he got a ‘call’ from an ex girlfriend, which led to an emotional performance of “Blame.” When he performed “iSpy,” a ‘FaceTime’ with Yachty popped up on the screen behind him.
Other standouts include “Endless Summer Symphony” which was accompanied by an entertaining dance from Kyle and Brick, a flirty performance of “Sex and Super Smash Bros,” and a beautiful cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness.” Kyle excelled both as a rapper and a performer, complementing fans for knowing all the words and serenading lucky girls in the front row. During his grand finale, I kid you not, Kyle grabbed a yellow surfboard and dived into the crowd.
Once he safely made it back onstage, Kyle said his goodbyes. Thankfully, it wasn’t the last we saw of him. After charging our phones at &pizza, we made it back to the venue on the off-chance we might see him. In all his glory, there he was, surrounded only by a few lingering fans and some tour managers. He was one of the friendliest people I’ve met, and when he told me I had beautiful hair, I died a little.
After we’d recovered, we made our way to Ben’s Chili Bowl for some much needed fries, and ran into one of the tour managers. Unsurprisingly, he was very outgoing, and let us buy Kyle a milkshake.
It was a sweet end to a night that only made me a bigger Super Duper fan. Kyle, if you’re ever back in DC, Ben’s is on me. •
IMAGE COURTESY OF SUBMERGE MAGAZINE