Welcome Back.

  1. “Heebiejeebies” — Aminé ft. Kehlani
  2. “LOVE” — Kendrick Lamar ft. Zacari
  3. License and Registration” — F. Virtue
  4. “Favorite Colors” — Taylor Bennett ft. Kyle and Luke Tennyson
  5. Pick up the Phone” — Young Thug, Travis Scott, and Quavo
  6. Broccoli” — D.R.A.M. ft. Lil Yachty
  7. “Undercover [Coucheron Remix]” — Kehlani
  8. Come Down” — Anderson.Paak
  9. Goosebumps” — Travis Scott ft. Kendrick Lamar
  10. Dapper” — Domo Genesis ft. Anderson.Paak
  11. “In The Morning” — Mac Miller with The Internet ft. Syd & Thundercat
  12. I’m the One” — DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne
  13. “Deja Vu” — Post Malone ft. Justin Bieber
  14. Tiny Glowing Screens, Part 3” — Watsky ft. Camila Recchio & Danny McClain
  15. Caroline” — Aminé

Get some!

  1. Blue Lips” – Time Crisis
  2. “The Palisades” – Childish Gambino ft. Christian Rich
  3. “That’s What I Get” – Hit Boy ft. James Fauntleroy
  4. “Be Lazy” – Skizzy Mars
  5. Move Your Feet” – Junior Senior
  6. “Right Hand” – Drake
  7. “Bad Blood” — Nao
  8. “Deadroses” — Blackbear
  9. Higher” — Classified ft. B.O.B.
  10. Sour Patch Kids” — Bryce Vine
  11. All Night Longer” — Sammy Adams
  12. Professional Rapper” — Lil Dicky ft. Snoop Dogg
  13. “Last Night” — G-Eazy ft. Kyle & Devon Baldwin
  14. “Good Evening” — Mac Miller
  15. “Exchange” — Bryson Tiller

Podcast coming real soon, folks.


Finally, there’s more Kyle to listen to.  I haven’t anticipated a sophomore album this hard in a while and Smyle did not disappoint.  In fact it’s taken me 15 – 20 listens just to sit down and write about it without dancing.  I don’t mean toe-tapping, I mean physically dancing.  And I’m sober.  And it’s 3pm on a Monday.

So let’s start at the beginning.  “The Force” opens the album up softly and then jumps to lightspeed.  The first verse made me a little nervous.  Did the fame go to Kyle’s head already?  Am I in for an hour of generic boasting?  And then he’s all “wishin’ hella hugs on [his] enemies,” and then lasers happen… Before you know it he’s singing about starships and haters (in the intergalactic sense).  By the second chorus, you’re singing it too.  “I’ve got the force.  I’ve got the force.”

The second track is a love-song, and it’s not my favorite of his.  He recently released a single called “Angel” (ft. Buddy) that I would have rather have seen on this project, but in defense of “Feels Good”, theres a line about tea-bagging makes me laugh out loud every time I hear it.  And even during a track about a girl, he manages to mention Harry Potter, Houdini, and the real estate market on Saturn.

Now I’m just hoping the album doesn’t slow down too much.  “Summertimesoul” is deep and soulful (which is lovely in small doses), but at this point I don’t know tracks 4 – 8 are coming.  Then 45 seconds in I get wrecked by that minor chord change, and it melts my heart like crayons on the sun.  That’s the moment I was sold on the album as a whole.  45 seconds into track 3, and I’m 100% on board.  Another handful of seconds pass and if you’d been in my living room, you’d have thought I was rolling my damn face off.


“Don’t Wanna Fall in Love” has been one of my favorite Kyle tracks for months, so for me it’s hard to place because I’ve already worn it out.  But for about three weeks this track and “Just a Picture” were the only two songs I listened to.  Kyle’s flow is immaculate on this one.  Oh, and I do like the little instrumental thing he added at the end.


“Endless Summer Symphony” is the bait I use to hook my raver friends, followed up by “Superduperhero”.  So far, Kyle, Chidish Gambino, and Drake are just about all we agree on.  Also this song is a good example of Kyle’s inherent knack for brand recognition and cross-song marketing.  Note the signature “hey Kyle!” and the clever melodic twist on “Sex and Super Smash Bros”.  This track too, is sort of about a girl.  But it’s so bouncy it’s hard to tell.  I’d also like to point out the excellent use of lifeguard whistles in the beat.  It really feels like you’re dancing on a beach.


I have only one complaint for “Really? Yeah!” which is how intricately Kyle uses the N word on it.  It’s maybe the most catchy single of 2015, and I can only rap along with half the words when I bump it in the car, which is some bullshit.  That said, it’s one of the catchiest singles of 2015.  His Wile E. Coyote shout is awesome and potentially really deep.  Wile’s shit always blows up in his face, or drops him off a cliff or something.  But he is relentless in the face of the road-runner (life), and often his own lack of forethought.  Because of this, he’s been entertaining the world since 1948.  Or, you know, I’m way off base and it’s just words.  Either way, sweet.  Try and not yell “Really?  Really?  Yeah!” one time.  I dare you.

I usually think interludes are a waste of time.  I don’t necessarily disagree here, but I will say this.  “Deepest Part of Me” is very well placed.  Since the last three quarters of “Summertimesoul”, we’ve been smashing our faces off, and if you didn’t fall in the shower at some point during all that then you probably needed a break.  I know I did.  Catch your breath quick because the orgasm of the album is coming (pun semi-intended).


It happens three minutes into “Superduperhero” ft. SuperDuperBrick, when the drop kicks in.  The song is great, Kyle’s verse is funny and has a lot of tone even for him.  He proves that he can say a lot, but he doesn’t have to for it to sound cool.  Brick’s lyrics are clever and his delivery is on point.  I’d say he 100% held his own, which on this album is NOT AN EASY TASK.  But you guys, the drop.  The drop is so awesome I plan my workout around it.  And then it’s like the album knows I’m tired and I just want to smoke a bowl and lazily cuddle.

“All 4 You” is very jazzy, I’m just not really into the melody, or featured singer Yuna’s choices.  She’s not bad, not by any stretch.  I just wish she’d done more to stand out.  The song is a little repetitive, but the “Do you want to start the game again?” sample is another example of seamless thematic integration, and a nice undertone to the album.  This album is both beachy and spacey, like a futuristic vacation.


It’s unreal that he buries the Chance the Rapper guest feature.  That alone shows so much bravado it’s stupid.  This album doesn’t need Chance the Rapper, it just has him.  And “Remember Me” is totally awesome.  Chance’s singing on this track is reminiscent of John Legend.  We knew he could sing, obviously we’ve heard him do it all over his own tracks.  But this is almost like a bridge to straight R&B.  Kyle’s verse is deeply meaningful, but still playful.  Also it’s a melancholy inversion of the “no new friends” mantra.

**It should also be mentioned that this track was released as a single in a way I’d never seen before.  Kyle and Chance the Rapper instagram[ed], tweet[ed], etc., a picture of a cocktail napkin with a phone number on it.  You had to text that number (The Super Duper Phone) and add yourself to its contacts.  Then you got a link to “Remember Me”.**

Safe to say “All Alright” is my least favorite track on the album.  It’s just not that original of an idea, and the execution is a little juvenile.  I think “The Best Day” by Atmosphere (among others) did it a little better.  Also, the beat is pretty plain, so there’s not much redemption there.


And then we’re back!  “Dewwutitdoez” is dancy as fuck, and it’s dedicated to one of the coolest dudes out there.  Sure, it’s possible that Kyle is actually shouting out the Christian savior one or two of those times, but he’s obviously talking about his tour manager.  For the record, I can’t imagine how many times Jesus has caught Kyle and Brick after crowd-surfing or crowd-boogy-boarding.  He’s not a huge security type either, so he’s gotta be deceivingly strong, unbelievably dedicated, or both.  Shout out to Jesus and SuperDuper Max.  And shout out to this song, just for the fun.  No hook needed, Kyle’s flow on this is at its most melodic.  So much so that I kind of wish this was the final track on the album.

But that’s just because I fear emotional music.  If you don’t, you’ll probably really enjoy “@Foundbae” featuring Je$$e.  I do really like the stanza about having a hundred thousand kids and bringing them to school in a hundred limousines.  Hard to tell if that’s Kyle under voice-mod or if that’s Je$$e.  Either way, it’s lovely.  I might not blast it over and over and over like I have and will with the rest of the album, but the harmonies make this a beautiful piece of music, and a tranquil way to put a bow on my favorite album of 2015 so far.



I give SMYLE 8 and 1/2 thumbs up.  Now go buy it.

Just one small change in the format here.  I decided starring songs whose projects deserve greater attention is dumb.  All music by all of these artists should be listened to.

1. “Idiot Gear” – Louis Logic
2. “In Time” – Kero One ft. Clara C & Dumbfoundead
3. “Cocoa Butter Kisses” – Chance the Rapper ft. Vic Mensa & Twista
4. “Jealous (Ain’t Wit It)” – Chromeo
5. “Fiesta” – The Chicharones
6. “James Turner Affair” – Dez & Nobs
7. “Right Here” – Justin Bieber ft. Drake
8. “Code Check” – People Under the Stairs
9. “Superfast Jellyfish” – Gorillaz ft. Gruff Rhys & De La Soul
10. “What It Is” – Pharoahe Monch
11. “The Force” – Kyle
12. “Dorian” – Brother Ali
13. “It’s O.K.” – Eminem
14. “Rose Garden” – Shad
15. “Thugz Mansion (acoustic version)” – 2Pac ft. Nas

Keep watching the skies.

More?  Damn right I’ve got more.  If you like these, you’re gonna love the Freshly Baked podcast.

1. “Silver Platter” — Kyle
2. “The Number None” — Atmosphere *
3.  “Theme Music” — Asheru & Blue Black *
4. “First Things First” — Blu & Exile *
5. “‘Til Death Do” — F. Virtue & Juan Deuce *
6. “The Maritimes” — Classified
7. “Lark on my Go-Kart” — Asher Roth
8. “The New Workout Plan” — Kanye West*
9. “Classy McNasty” — Louis Logic*
10. “Violet Stars Happy Hunting!” — Janelle Monae *
11. “Greedy Bitch” — Grieves
12. “Space Ho’s” — DangerDoom *
13. “Just the Two of Us” — Will Smith
14. “5 O’Clock” — T-Pain ft. Wiz Khalifa & Lily Allen
15. “The Old Prince Still Lives at Home” — Shad *

Not totally positive that Maritimes video is official… but it is dope.  Also, why does “The Old Prince Still Lives at Home” only have 30,000 views?  WTF Earth?

I found Kyle on Pandora about a week before I saw him open for Watsky on the “All You Can Do” tour in Vancouver, B.C. and then again in Seattle.  The track I heard was “Bang” ft. Mr. Man, and it immediately struck me as a song I’d normally hate.  But it was catchy as fuck and I loved it.  Turns out, that’s a pretty unusual Kyle track (although “It’s Lit” ft. IAMSU! has its moments), but his entire body of work is extraordinary.  This includes the hard to find stuff from when he was still K.I.D.

His hooks bump.  His verses are smart, but not preachy, and his flow is as unique as his view on the world.  To top it all off, he has a ridiculous live charisma.  So without further adieu, here’s my proof that Kyle is indeed, Next2Blow.

1. He shows up bigger rappers like it ain’t no thang.  For example, on “Wanna Be Cool” where he blows Big Sean out of the water.  Honestly, his verse is better than Chance the Rapper’s too.

2. He’s on a track with Big Sean and Chance the Rapper (See above).  Everybody important is listening now.

3. He’s crazy young.  I imagine he wrote “Fruit Snacks & Cups of Patron” when he couldn’t legally consume one of the two, and the other was still being packed in a lunchbox for him.  He’s starting to blow up now, and he’s got decades on decades to do something about it.  The world is literally his oyster.

4. Beautiful Loser, his freshman release, is a front-to-back masterpiece.  For reference, see: “Sex and Super Smash Bros”, “Keep it Real”, “This is a Hit”, “When Can We”, “BANG”, “Love 4 You”, “View From Hollywood”… Oh wait ya, just listen to the whole thing.

5. Watching Kyle and DJ Brick do their thing live is unlike any hip-hop show you’ve seen.  They do these incredible corny-ographed dance moves that destroy every crowd I’ve seen them perform for.  Also Kyle loves to crowd surf and will do it multiple times per show.  Usually he also boogie-boards or literally surfs on the crowd.  So awesome.

6. He sings, and he’s good.  His melodies are gold, and everything he does is easy to dance to.  This makes it easy to compare him to Drake.  Don’t do that.  Only realize how valuable of an asset he is to any track that needs a banger hook.  Oh wait, that’s every track ever.

So go buy Beautiful Loser.  Then listen to “Just a Picture” ft. Kehlani, “Wanna Be Cool” from the new Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment album, “Get Lit”, “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love”, “Last Night” with G-Eazy, “Silver Platter”, “Pickle”, and of course “Hey Now” with Martin Solveig & The Cataracs.  You’ll be glad you did.

More music for your earholes.  Check the links, buy the albums, you know the deal.

1. “Bonfire Sessions” — King Fantastic *
2. “Bad Meaning Good” — Drake *
3. “The Way” — Kehlani ft. Chance the Rapper *
4. “Speedom” — Tech N9ne ft. Eminem & Krizz Kaliko *
5. “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)” — Aaron Carter
6. “Rich Girl” — George Watsky *
7. “Sweatpants” — Childish Gambino ft. Problem *
8. “Articulation” — F. Virtue ft. Teddy Faley, Dr. Bloodmoney, Megabusive, Esh, PremRock, & Leo the Albatross *
9. “Hive” — Earl Sweatshirt ft. Vince Staples & Casey Veggies *
10. “Growing Up” — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Ed Sheeran
11. “Gopher Guts” — Aesop Rock *
12. “Confident” — Justin Bieber ft. Chance the Rapper *
13. “Prince Charming” — Brother Ali *
14. “Golden Girl” — Frank Ocean ft. Tyler the Creator *
15. “Wine” Dumbfoundead ft. Wax & Breezy Lovejoy (Anderson Paak) *

Anyone else commute to work?  Radio getting you down?  Here are some jams you may be sleeping on (this doesn’t mean they’re new, btw, it just means you’re slow):

1. “Just a Picture” — Kyle ft. Kehlani
2. “No Flex Zone” — Karmin & Watsky
3. “O.K.” — Mac Miller ft. Tyler the Creator
4. “Grass is Always Greener” — Ludacris *
5. “Helmut Lang” — J57 ft. F. Virtue, Mike Maven, Katiah, and Akie Bermiss (Prod. by Wally Sean)
6. “Mine” — Beyonce ft. Drake *
7. “Echelon” — Angel Haze
8. “Pyramids” — Frank Ocean *
9. “Freight Train” — Kush Mody ft. Anderson Paak *
10. “I Said Hey” — Macklemore *
11. “Oldie” — Odd Future
12. “We Hate Everyone” — K. Flay
13. “Preach” — Kehlani & Ambre Perkins
14. “Wanna Be Cool” — Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment ft. Big Sean, Jeremih, and Kyle *
15. “Thank You” — Busta Rhymes ft. Q-Tip, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne

If there’s a link, it probably means there’s some kind of dope video.  If there’s a star next to the track, that’s your cue to go out and listen to the entire project from which it originates.  Seriously.


Today we’re gonna talk about Kehlani, a grippingly soulful R&B singer out of Oakland, CA.  Since Kehlani is here on Freshly Baked, it’s safe to say she’s “Next 2 Blow” and Bakes is never wrong.  I think she’s what we all wanted Jhene Aiko to be, you know?  Like Brandy, but people won’t roll your eyes when you say you listened to her in the car on the way to work.

The way I know Kehlani is going to be huge is because of her unique repertoire of vocal riffs.  Every great female vocalist has a little library of scales and riffs that let you know exactly who you’re listening to.  Whitney Houston had them, Mariah Carey has them, Lauryn Hill, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Ariana Grande… they all have a style that’s all their own.  Kehlani has that too, and she has a wonderfully dope sense for collaboration.  Recent tracks with Chance the Rapper (“The Way”), Kyle (“Just a Picture”), and BJ the Chicago Kid (“Down for You”), as well as the Snakehips Remix of “Til the Morning”, illustrate this quite well.

Here we go.  My proof (like I need proof):

1. She recently made Jay-Z’s “Fuck the Summer Up” Tidal playlist.
2. She has awesome friends.  The more casual selfies you have on Twitter with Angel Haze, the higher the likelihood that future collaborative efforts will produce dope results.
3. She’s also hot.  Frankly, Kehlani is extremely talented and she could probably look like a gnarly foot and still make waves musically.  But instead she’s a genuine “I woke up like this” kind of sexy.  It’s awesome.
4. Billboard.com is already printing rumors about her doing a track with Justin Bieber.  Whether she is or not, this is kind of ridiculous.
5. Jahaan Sweet.  From what I can see he’s Kehlani’s primary producer, and he’s a genius with minor harmonies.  Definitely another artist to watch.

So do yourself a favor and start listening to Kehlani as soon as you can.  Also, try to buy explicit versions of her records whenever possible.  She swears kind of a lot and you’ll miss important stuff if it’s all bleepy.  Her newest album “You Should Be Here” is a work of art, back to front.  The title track is gold, and every collaboration is perfect.  Her ability to integrate seemlessly with all different types of hip-hop, and just about any flow will serve her well in the coming months.

Baker’s forecast: Provided she doesn’t get caught up in any ridiculous scandals, Kehlani will be as big as Rihanna in a year or two.  #N2B

We’re riding on some golf cart as the dude next to me yells at mobs of completely ripped hip-hop aficionados.  “Beeeeeeep!  Beeeeep!  Get out of the way!  Yo!  Get out of the fucking way!!”  My first thought was that this guy needed an air horn.  My second thought was that these kids’ moms should have taught them basic situational awareness.  “It’s early yet,” he says, as I imagine him driving Big Sean through these mobs a little bit later.  Then Watsky turns around and pulls a well-loved folded up show poster from his inside pocket.  He hands it to me.  It’s from Luda’s “Word of Mouf” tour back in 2002.  It’s signed by Ludacris.  This was Watsky’s first hip-hop concert.  Now it’s 2015 and he and Luda are playing the same festival, arguably the best annual hip-hop event in the country; Soundset.

If ya ain’t heard, here’s the breakdown:  Soundset happens in Minnesota.  It’s put on by Rhymesayers.  It showcases around 30 of the best hip-hop acts from around the country for a crowd of roughly 30,000.  Two years ago that list included Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Mac Miller, Tech N9ne, Juicy J, Schoolboy Q… Last year Nas was there.  So were Chance the Rapper, Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Shad, G-Easy, Wiz Khalifa, and Cypress Hill, among others.  This year I skipped Sasquatch, a 3-day festival of massive proportion happening at “The Gorge” in Quincy Washington (less than an hour away from where I currently live) to fly halfway across the country and spend Memorial Day weekend kickin’ it at Slug’s house.





And let’s be clear.  This is Slug’s house, and no matter how famous or legendary an artist is at Soundset, they’re Slug’s guests.  You can expect a healthy dose of Atmosphere’s incredible live energy each and every year.  Each and every year you can expect to see a group of friends from Minneapolis who’ve seen Atmosphere “a million fucking times, bro” agree to skip it and get to the car before the horde.  And each and every year you can watch that crew catch “Sunshine” from the back of the crowd, say “screw it,” and jam until the bitter end, sunburns and soaked sweatshirts be damned.  There’s something magnetic about it.

Brother Ali and his nieces.

Brother Ali and his nieces.

You’ll also see Brother Ali, and all the other homies, be it at the festival itself, or at the before and after parties at First Ave (a kick-ass two story venue in Minneapolis).  Then there’s the lineup.  Rappers from all over the country join forces, and form an incredible cross-generational hip-hop education packed into one day.  Up and coming artist SonReal said the first album he ever bought was N.W.A’s Greatest Hits, and I was reminded of my golf cart ride.  What a dope gathering.

You should know that it was raining.  Moderately, but relentlessly.  It. Did. Not. Stop. All. Day.  And nobody gave two fucks.  The titties were out, folks.  Seriously, here I am in a t-shirt, flannel, jeans, hat, and a sweatshirt, and there are half-naked white chicks in Timberlands everywhere.  I honestly can’t imagine what Ice Cube thinks about it, but when Ludacris shouted out all the races individually and ended with “where all my white folks at?” uprorious laughter emerged from 96% of the crowd.  Anyway, it was raining and it was wet, and they’re throwing hay onto the ground to soak up puddles, and everyone’s just crowded around the warm fire happening on stage.  Okay so a few people were huddled under big circus tents watching live telefeeds, but the vast majority were happy as pigs in shit.  Even the ones being crammed against the metal rail at the front of the stage.

The Horde.

The Horde.

Yelawolf was awesome.  Very different tracks, with the taste of metal and a whole different BPM range than the rest of the day.  The crowd didn’t miss a beat.  When I watched Dessa I felt like she was reading me a picture book, in the best possible way.  Come to find out later she’s also a teacher.  Awesome.  Ludacris played every song we wanted him to, including Blueberry Yum Yum.  (Sidenote, his new album is great).  Watsky killed it, Logic killed it, Aesop Rock killed it, and DJ Abilities is a god.  How anyone had the energy to scream as loud as they did for Big Sean and J. Cole, I have no idea.  I was exhausted.  Maybe it was the cheese curds.

Dessa Luda and Friends Yelawolf Muscle Car

When all is said and done, this year’s Soundset was fantastic.  For $60, there’s just no better deal out there.  And if you’re from out of state, don’t worry!  Hotels in Minneapolis are stupid cheap.  I stayed in a four-star Hilton hotel for $80 a night, and I’m sure you could find a Motel 6 for less.

Photos by Elliot Malcolm