In the music business, it’s all about the hits. But some artists defy the odds, building careers out of hard work and a discography of mad catchy songs. Such is the case with California rapper Super Duper Kyle, who brought his Lightspeed Tour to Arizona this week.
Club Red filled up long before the headliner took the stage, the crowd pressing toward the stage for Chicago R&B artist Tobi Lou. Known for his song “Buff Baby”, his eccentric aesthetic mixed perfectly with his music’s feel-good vibes for a set that won the room. He spent the majority of his set interacting with the audience and made sure the whole room wouldn’t forget his name after he was done.
Kyle’s longtime friend Marc E. Bassy was up next, bringing a sensual element to the quirky show. The former 2AM Club vocalist struck out on his own, and he performed songs from his new album Postmodern Depression for the lovestruck fans.
“You guys are one of the most rambunctious crowds we’ve had on this whole tour,” he said to the delight of the crowd (who only got louder after that). Longtime fans definitely knew all the words to the new tracks, but the hype intensified for older songs like the smooth and sexy “Morning” and the G-Eazy assisted track “You and Me”.
Bassy jumped stripped off his jacket and jumped into the crowd for the last song, prompting chants for an encore before Kyle’s set.
The first time I saw Kyle play a show, it was the small space of the now-defunct Martini Ranch in Scottsdale, AZ. He’s come a long way from those days, as Club Red got even more packed for the Siri-esque intro of the Lightspeed Tour. Kyle built himself a futuristic set piece, performing inside a space-age television, complete with visual effects and backup dancers.
Kyle made sure to play all the hits, hyping his audience for “Playinwitme” and “Ikuyo”. Mid-set, his virtual stage companion demanded he tell his fans a story, so the self-professed shy speaker obliged, playing a series of songs about falling in love and growing up.
Asking “Is anybody in this room having a good-ass time so far?” might seem a little unnecessary, but Kyle’s fans are not shy about their love for the goofy rapper. The lights turned up, the backup dancers assisted with a dance break and the room kept bouncing.
The crowd got even louder for “iSpy”, Kyle’s biggest hit. It’s been such a fun progression watching him grow from small rooms to packed venues and Kyle’s stayed humble through it all. He frequently professed his love for his audience, making sure to talk to the front row and spread his unwavering message of positivity to everyone in the diverse collective. Kyle’s star is only growing brighter and pretty soon the days of Club Red stages will give way to arenas of screaming fans- there may not be another name in hip hop that deserves it more.
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel