Kail: Bravado and Beats

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MC/producer Kail claims to be on some straight “nigga shit.” But despite what the next-gen Project Blowedian may say, he’s just as nerdy as he is street.His full-length debut, True Hollywood Squares,is full of witty humor, battle bravado, and whimsical production. If it were anything short of classic, he wouldn’t have gotten Alpha Pup label head Daddy Kev’s support. Impressed with Kail’s self-released The William Thedford Invitational, Kev met with Kail and the two decided to do it bigger. Instead of pushing Squares hand-to-hand like he originally planned, Kail is now moving units worldwide.

“Kev is now responsible for spreading 47 percent more drunken nigga shit all throughout the world. And that’s the motive,” says the 25-year-old Los Angeles-based rapper.

Squares, a concept album built around his Tinseltown character rap, not only shows the not-so-glittery side of Hollywood but serves as Kail’s proper intro to the world. Kail handles the bulk of the beats on this album himself, with production as varied as his eccentric cast of characters (check the opening theme from Bullitt on “Sweet Dick Willy” and the Ice-T homage “Three in the Morning.”) While it’s now easier than ever for kids to play with their dicks and their hip-hop in their bedrooms, Kail is no MySpace rapper. Since 2002, he’s been sharpening his skills with the eight-man Customer Service crew at L.A.’s famed Project Blowed, the open-mic night that’s been an indie proving ground for everyone from Aceyalone to Busdriver.

Brash and slightly offensive (“Tell that Harajuku bitch to put the camera down,” he says in one skit), Kail departs from Blowed’s signature fast raps but he still slays with clever wordplay, adding a touch of West Coast grime to his syllables. Listeners can tell that he’s a bit of closet nerd, rapping over a Mega Man 3 sample and making references to Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Kail admits he’s still trying to refine his style. “This album was my rough attempt to build my own stepping stool,” he says. “It sounds so elementary to me, but I love that everyone has been able to bump my rookie shit-talk.”