"iSpy," Kyle's happy-go-lucky debut single featuring Lil Yachty, has slowly become ingrained in pop radio since its early-December release. With the ode to Internet flirtation climbing to No. 10 on the April 1 Billboard Hot 100, the California rapper, 23, says the unlikely smash feels "more like a blessing and less like something I deserved."
The day before Kyle kicked off his tour in Tempe, Arizona, he spoke with Billboard on his way to rehearsal about the hit that took him by surprise.
Just a few weeks ago, "iSpy" was at 27 and now it has cracked the top 10. How does that feel?
I feel exactly how Ja Rule felt in the "Holla Holla" video when he's running down the street with all the most amazing girls. I don't have like Brazilian models with me, but I feel great!
Did Lil Yachty foresee "iSpy" becoming a hit single?
This is how you know Yachty is a genius: He DM'd me a week after I dropped ["iSpy"] and said, "Bro, this is a smash. You don't even know yet! It's about to be huge!" He knew from the start.
You've said your lyrics were inspired by looking for love on Instagram. Are you on Tinder?
Tinder is too savvy for me -- it feels like a weed sale. It's like, "Hey, what's good? I don't know you, but we're forced to have this interaction, so we should make the best of it." I can't do that.
You're good friends with Chance the Rapper. How has he affected your artistry?
He's one of the most intelligent people you could meet -- every conversation I've had with Chance is three hours long, and I always leave so much smarter. I watch him break all these boundaries and do things you're not supposed to be able to do, and it reinforces my belief in myself. Shoutout to my super-inspiring homie Chance.
You just played SXSW, and during the set you air-surfed over the crowd. How do you plan to keep your tour fresh and fun?
I love dancing, so I'm definitely going to incorporate some of that, but what I really want to try doing to take my concert to the next level is magic. I always wanted to do magic tricks -- I feel like that could be the the next wave… Disappear, make some shit float, catch something on fire, release a dove from the microphone. Something like that.
What can you share about your debut album?
It's getting more and more fire by the day. I feel like I'm not out of ideas yet -- that's what's delaying the process -- I have fully drain myself of inspiration before I can call something done. There's going to be some emotional songs, and there might be some shit that's even more happy than "iSpy." I always tried to pride myself on my versatility -- I can't just be the "iSpy" guy.
This article originally appeared in the April 1 issue of Billboard.