Any artist wondering how they can take their music to the next level should take notes from New Jersey-raised, Harlem-based emcee Kyle Rapps. Since the release of his debut EP, Re-Edutainment, Kyle’s been hard at work, releasing new videos, performing at SXSW, and more, all while putting the finishing touches on his new mixtape, On Air. The mixtape, produced entirely by Nate G, draws its samples from French electronic band Air, and continues to show off Kyle’s proclivity for pulling in high profile features, with guest slots from the likes of KRS-One, C-Rayz Walz, and Homeboy Sandman, along with Talib Kweli, who shows up on the lead single from On Air, “Universe Traveler.”
For Kyle, “Universe Traveler” is an opportunity to show and prove, and he does just that alongside one of his own musical heroes with lines like, “I’m staying on the blocks like the first grade/ I’m letting off shots, get the First Aid/ Some rappers sling coke, I prefer cake/ I’m the last one broke and the first paid.” And while some might not suspect a collection of samples from Air to compliment the two tri-state representatives, Nate G’s smooth blend of samples, backed by chunky drums, provides an opportunity for Kyle to prove that versatility is his specialty. “‘Universe Traveler’ is all about being able to rap anywhere, with anyone, to be able to rap in any situation and still be able to come off. To me, that’s the definition of a true emcee.