lean-on-me-reviewKilla Kyleon – Lean On Me
Self Released; 2013
Day & A Dream Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Download: DatPiff

Are we still positioning Killa Kyleon inside of this so-called New Houston lexicon or is he just a flat out outlier? There’s no clear direction as to what conversation he belongs to and if he’ll tell you it he’s in one that isn’t dictated by time or space. He’s just a master of shout rap mixed with plenty of punchlines and one liners that squarely exists in his own arena. His voice can rattle inside of trapped out synths and drums, works best in “hustle before the sundown” works where the production is open enough for him to whip lyrics left and right and firmly finds himself within arms reach on a track with Texas heavyweights and underground dudes who cut their teeth on hundreds of mixtapes in search of a sound.

Lean On Me, Kyleon’s latest release might have as much fanfare behind it as his Natural Born Killa release with DJ Drama three Aprils ago. MTV made us initially aware of it, carrying a toe tag of being a Houston rap tape through and through. In his quite slim and svelte 31 minutes, it much like its master flexes muscle with the same amount of lyrical flair as before, just a tad bit more focused. He summarizes himself to near Kanye levels of self-championing on the tape’s opener which flanges out Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me” to the point that you thought it was 2003 circa Heatmakerz/Dipset all over again. “My City” with Kirko Bangz and Slim Thug easily operates as its most accessible track with Bangz’s chirpy verse finally barking down on haters who think his ascension is a fluke and Kyleon punctuates every sentence with his usual “my nigga” like a fresh out of jail street preacher on, of course “My Nigga”.

As trap heavy as “ESE” is, it doesn’t carry enough juice in comparison to the whistles and snares of Mouse On Tha Track’s “Cadillac” where Kyleon & Mouse carry over the chemistry crafted on last year’s Welcome To The Fish Fry. Kyleon bounces up and down the track, eating up each drum with precision like he was hawking down a sprinter in the 800. He still runs around in the hardened gumbo of life firmly expressed by Pimp C on “Diamonds & Wood” (“No Vacation” with Jack Freeman, “Street Life” with Fletcher) and lets his comic book metonyms fly like a mix of DC Comics & Marvel on “Batman”. Lean On Me conjures up every small attention to MC detail you can think of from structure to pacing, especially from a Southern rap release. It’s also Houston’s easiest to consume rap release of the year.