“Kentucky Fried” by Hayes from the KY

Alec Zaffiro
3 min readMar 26, 2021


Listen to Hayes from the KY on Spotify.

One thing I’ve been thinking about is interpreting, and supporting, other artists’ music — specifically less known, up-and-coming artists. I know the joy that comes from others receiving and appreciating the music you make, so I want to take the opportunity to reciprocate the energy, write about something I love (music), and share dope art.

I listened to “Kentucky Fried” last night when I saw it pop up on my Spotify. I’ve been following dude on Instagram for a while and always thought he had a relatable, tangible ambiance as an artist. I don’t know him, but he seems like a genuinely fun, cool guy. I believe he’s from Campbellsville, Kentucky which is about an hour from me. Being from the same state, I caught most of the themes and references sprinkled throughout this project.


I love the production. You’re getting that heavy 808, hip-hop drum feel but with plush, somewhat soothing side instrumentation. Which makes for a pretty interesting mix of songs. I think about the fuzziness of “Twin Pack,” the mellotron/organ-esque chords on “Night Rider” and the bouncy plucks on “Cardinals.” There’s also a healthy dose of guitar riffs, some of which hit like a fat plate of greasy, comfort food.


The vocal processing is professional and sits comfortably in the mix, so shoutout his engineer @joedirtbeats. His rhymes are well-paced and consistent — there were multiple times I found myself nodding to a track despite not loving what he’s actually saying. I do like his bars though. They paint a vivid picture, one that covers multiple sentiments, some nostalgic, some remorseful, others bashful towards women. For the most part, they’re fun, playful, and mildly introspective. I like lines:

“I just leveled up, bit by a spider, shoooom!”

“Smoking while I’m riding, she said I’m a crash dummy.”

“If I could write my list of wrongs it’d be a mile long.”

The lyrics work great within context. For example, his mention of pigs, wildcats, and Corvettes feel very Kentucky on the opening track “Cardinals.” Which makes sense, as he goes on to reference Louisville. Props to whoever threw in the birdcalls, they tied that in nicely. Outside of that, I think he did a good job switching up his vocal delivery and inflection. I’m thinking about the hook on “Twin Pack” and the brief interlude on “Chandeliers.”

Favorite Track

I already liked the previously released singles, “Kentucky Fried,” “House by the Ocean,” and “Land Before Time.” Obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have even listened to this project. But “Super Freak” is probably my new favorite, his flow is too cold. By the 3rd hook, it becomes infectious. The theme of this track is blatantly explicit, given its title, but it’s impressively catchy. The glowy, rising pads remind me of something off Mac Miller’s Swimming.

“Land Before Time” Hayes from the KY

Go listen to “Kentucky Fried” now.



Alec Zaffiro

I write to think and organize my ideas. I like psychology, philosophy, and self-improvement—em dashes are my specialty. Not an expert.*