Looks like Allan Kingdom's big break has come in the United Kingdom. The St. Paul rapper was prominently featured on stage with Kanye West at the Brit Awards in London on Wednesday, where West debuted a new single that also showcases Kingdom's talent, "All Day."
The real-life Allan Kyariga — a 21-year-old Woodbury High grad also known from the local quartet the Stand4rd — delivered two verses in "All Day" during the Brits, the entire telecast of which is posted in full at RollingStone.com. You can get a good look at Allan around the 1-hour, 49-minute mark as he delivers the refrain, "At the moment I disperse," with a giant flamethrower going off behind him and West's new BFF Taylor Swift dancing along in the crowd at the 02 Arena.
Hype for West's new single has been pretty strong since an early version of it "leaked" a few weeks ago. It's not yet clear when it will be formally released. His young protégé in the song has surprisingly kept mum about the collaboration in the meantime, and he didn't even provide any hint he was headed to London today. He finally posted the above photo on his Facebook page this afternoon acknowledging the big gig.
While he's earned his local buzz mostly on his own — including his win of City Pages' Picked to Click poll last year — Allan has made a lot of friends outside the Cities who've given him a leg up. He is managed by Kid Cudi producer/cohort Plain Pat, and he worked on the Stand4rd record with Doc McKinney, producer for the Weeknd. He probably came to the attention of West via Ye's "creative director" Virgil Abloh, who was also already known to be in Allan's corner.
Raised by his Tanzania immigrant mother, Kingdom stands out with his jittery, nervous rapping style and lyrics that show more insecurities than rap's usual braggadocio. He said in a Star Tribune interview a year ago, "I want to get all my secrets out right away so people know who I am and what I'm about right upfront."
Gaga for 'Horror Story'
TV is Lady Gaga's new platform: After an impressive performance at the Oscars, the singer announced she will join the cast of "American Horror Story." FX confirmed Wednesday that the star will join the fifth season of the hit series, which returns in October. No details were provided. Gaga tweeted a horror flick-inspired video of herself in a mask. She said the name of the show's new season is "American Horror Story Hotel." The 28-year-old Grammy-winning singer starred in the 2013 film "Machete Kills." She earned rave reviews for her performance honoring "The Sound of Music" at Sunday's Academy Awards. Her tour with Tony Bennett begins April 23 in Austin, Texas.