Southern California MC Kyle was at Coachella earlier this year watching Migos, but he had a hard time enjoying it. “Half of the speakers were busted,” he said. But then he heard the faint sound of Brooklyn indie-pop band the Drums playing their jangly 2017 song “Blood Under My Belt.” The song was a personal favorite of the rapper, who listened to it on repeat during morning walks to his local coffee shop. “I immediately turned around and sprinted. I was dancing. Nothing about [that song] will tell you to stop.”
It was the latest chapter in Kyle’s love affair with the song, which he decided to sing for Spotify’s Under Cover series, where artists tackle a song that means a lot to them. Kyle had no problem with the task; he started out covering other people’s songs under the name K.I.D. on YouTube, racking up huge numbers for free styling over hits by Drake, Big Sean and others.
Kyle wanted a left-field pick when he signed on for the Spotify cover series, something that felt personal to him. “It connected with me,” he said. It makes sense; last year he told Rolling Stone his music is all about “a depressed kid who is fighting back.” With lyrics like “Yes, it’s true that I hurt you / But I still love you, I still do,” the song’s optimism resonated with him.
“The drums in it are crazy,” he added. “I love the surf-rock element. I’m from Ventura, California. Some of the best surfers in the world are from there and that song reminds me of home.” Kyle’s version is sparer slower than the original, a completely different approach that works excellently. He admits that he has a motive for the cover, too: he wants the Drums’ Jonny Pierce to hear it. “Hopefully he hears this song and fucks with me, because I really fuck with him.” Kyle is currently on his first world tour, which hits the Hollywood Palladium on November 17th.