Not Klyde - Discography Review

Not Klyde - Discography Review

Not Klyde is a Canada-based rapper with a very unique sound that I’ve been a big fan of for the last few years. While he is often associated with the Christian hip-hop scene, his fun style and personality help his work transcend that association.

With his new album, I <3 NK, releasing tonight, this seemed like a great opportunity to go through his discography, listen to both things I’ve enjoyed and projects I’ve never heard before, and review it in preparation for my full review of his new project coming on Friday as well. While his debut, XXXIX (39) Mahal, is published to SoundCloud along with various other early work, I will be focusing on his music published to Spotify beginning with his 2018 record, Lil Foil 39.

Lil Foil 39 (2018)

Despite being a fan of Not Klyde for a few years now, this was my first time listening to both this and Luvv Again (Again), and honestly, it was not what I was expecting at all. To put it simply, it’s very rough around the edges. While you can hear elements of what makes NK so unique and recognizable today in “She Got Aesthetic” and the anime-inspired sound effects throughout, there’s also a lot here that, while inspired, doesn’t quite land the same way other parts of his discography do.

Luvv Again (Again) (2019)

In his second outing, Not Klyde slowed things down and took a more laid-back approach, reflected both in his bars and the accompanying beats. While it still retains and even progresses many of the unique adlibs and sounds that make him unique, as seen on “Charlie Horse (Right to the Heart),” this is a far more subdued Not Klyde than we find anywhere else in his discography. Standouts include “Headaches” and “Total Drama Island.”

Thrash Life 12 (2019)

Not Klyde really came into his own with Thrash Life 12. He continues to explore religious subject matter but does so in a way that is starkly different from so many others in the CHH space as he parallels a Bible and a Glock in “Bible In My Hand” to comedic effect. This humor and personality continues through songs like “Ants In My Pants - Demo" and moments like the intro to “Bibliya Sa Kamay,” where he references producer DJ Mykael V and his classic “God Always” producer tag. This album also continues to build up his portfolio of different styles and tempos of beats that he can competently rap over.

Mastery Seven (2021)

This is the Not Klyde that I was introduced to in 2021 when I saw him live at Holy Smoke Fest that year, and I can still see why I became a fan. After a fun little intro skit in the form of “Skit 1: Scrims Tn?”, he goes right into it with “Flock.” I feel like I keep saying this about his music, but this album truly is fun. The beats of songs like “Relax, Not Klyde” and “Gun Sounds” have this bounciness to them that makes me bop my head every time someone puts them on. The ad-libs and sound effects he has previously used in other albums are seen at their best here in songs like “Thot Thoughts” and “Flock,” and it really forms a style for Not Klyde that I have never found anywhere else. This is the energy he brought to his set when I first saw him, and it made me an instant fan.

Hello Kizzy & Company

I still vividly remember the rollout and release of this project because I was obsessed, and it did not disappoint. I had it on repeat when it came out, and in listening to it again for this review, I found myself doing the same thing again. While different in sound from Mastery Seven, it is still clearly a Not Klyde project, and it almost feels like a maturing of the style he put forth in that album. The smooth tone of “TOUCH” is complimented so well by the laid-back style of the feature Foggieraw and is a great example of how he did such a great job with the features on this project. Each song features an artist from the CHH and CHH-adjacent scene in a way that feels like each song was tailor-made for the artist as if no one else would work.

The lyrics throughout continue the formula he has established of clean lyrics, a tasteful implementation of his religious beliefs, fun flows, and clever moments. Not to mention that he created a great brand around the characters and visuals of this album rollout in the form of HELLO KIZZY CO. This project may be my favorite of his thus far and had me very excited for new projects from him.

I <3 NK (Releasing Tonight)

Releasing tonight, I <3 NK is another talented outing from Not Klyde. Without saying too much before my full review, this steps away a bit from the comedic, high-energy vibes of Mastery Seven and Thrash Life 12, but it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. It feels like a real and relatable representation of himself, which works so well. I’ve enjoyed listening to the album and hope everyone will stream it and check out my review tomorrow.

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