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Is Kylie Jenner secretly the lead singer of a not-bad pop group?

This week in internet conspiracy theories...

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Kylie Jenner may be best known for hawking overpriced lipsticks, dating a very lame rapper, tweeting chemtrail truther memes, and getting kind of a lot of plastic surgery at the ripe old age of 17, but what is she least known for? Perhaps being a pop star? Perhaps hatching an elaborate plan, right in front of the noses of the American people? Perhaps tricking everyone in the world but little old me (and half the internet's teens)?

For the last two months, the internet rumor mill has been circulating a theory that Kylie Jenner is the anonymous lead singer of a new pop group. How will I prove to you that this is true, and that you should care? I probably won't. But here at The Verge we try our best to unravel the mysteries of the internet and the depths of human deception every single day.

As far as internet conspiracy theories go, this one is fairly tame, and yet not very plausible. It is nothing so extreme as accusing a presidential candidate of being a famed serial killer, nor a former boy band member of faking the existence of a human baby, but it still requires some leaps of the imagination. Please come take some leaps with me! We will go to the depths of the internet, and hopefully come back.

The evidence

The centerpiece of this conspiracy is an advertisement for lip gloss. More specifically, the promotional music video, "Glosses," released on March 31st. A baffling mash-up of Spring Breakers and Crossroads, the video announced the lip gloss follow-up to Kylie's hit matte lipstick line. In it, Kylie and three friends apply the gloss near-constantly, and take breaks only to drown men in fish tanks and eat Tootsie Pops. It was directed by Colin Tilley, who is responsible for dozens of iconic music videos including Kendrick Lamar's "Alright," Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda," and Justin Bieber's "Never Let You Go."

The video was soundtracked by an unknown pop song featuring a decent beat and a heavily AutoTuned female vocalist. Many early YouTube commenters assumed that the singer was Kylie herself, due to a series of Instagram posts that promoted the video much in the way that a pop star would promote the music video for a new single, and one that looked as if it might be the cover of an EP. Also, because it would have been thrilling!

Kylie's friend, the singer Harry Hudson, tweeted at her and congratulated her for overcoming her fears and releasing an EP but later deleted the tweet, according to Gigwise.

this conspiracy starts with a lip gloss commercial, but where does it stop?

Later that day, it was revealed that a new pop group called Terror Jr was responsible for the song, called "Three Strikes." Oddly, the group hadn't existed before that day at all. The Facebook, SoundCloud, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for Terror Jr were all made the same day that Kylie's video was released. I'll give Kylie credit where credit is due — she is an avid and omnivorous consumer of music (follow her on Snapchat to get a good idea of the best music of the day) — but it does seem odd that she would have had advance knowledge of a pop group that hadn't released a single song.

Further, Kylie is the only person the band follows on any of its social media accounts, and one of the group's two Instagram posts is a repost of Kylie showing off new lip gloss shades on her forearm:

3 $trike$

A photo posted by Terror Jr (@terrorjrmusic) on

The issue could be resolved if Terror Jr would reveal the identities of its three members of course, but so far the band has refused. When Bustle reached out for comment for an article "Is Kylie Jenner the Terror Jr Singer? The Clues Are All There, People," the band responded, "We'd like to maintain some mystery for now."

A rep from Effess Records then told The Fader, "Terror Jr is a project from the guys who created Kiiara (Felix Snow and David aka Campa) and a girl named Lisa." The Instagram account that the group provided for "Lisa," has only one post, which is just a Guess Who?-style silhouette of a woman. Okay! Even more strangely, the Twitter avatar for the group shows "Lisa" from behind, wearing a pink wig that looks a lot like the one Kylie wore for much of the early winter.

I'm wearing candy and koko and Jordyn may be wearing a new @kyliecosmetics color ;)

A photo posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

A week after the premiere of "Three Strikes / Glosses," Kylie posted a screencap from the Kendall and Kylie mobile game, in which her avatar was wearing the same pink wig.

Playing the KENDALL&KYLIE game! Find it in the App Store. I'm so addicted

A photo posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

Terror Jr's second single, "Sugar," was released on May 9th. It sort of sounds like a rubber duck did the production. Also, the chorus repeats the lyric "sugar in my eyes," which frankly sounds horrifying! The group's third single, "Trippin," released May 24th, features a Jamie xx sample and is exactly the sort of drug-infused, summery nonsense confection that makes one want a bubblegum-flavored popsicle and some Lolita sunglasses delivered ASAP.

Obviously it's possible that Kylie is just helping some friends launch their pop career by letting them hitch their wagon to her established brand, but that possibility is boring and disappointing, so we'll hold it at bay for now.

Kylie is already looped into the music world. Her social circle includes numerous young musicians, including Pia Mia, Telana Lyum, Justine Skye, Harry Hudson, Simi and Haze Khadra, her ex-boyfriend Tyga, her rumored-current boyfriend PARTYNEXTDOOR, and of course, her brother-in-law, Kanye West!

Crashing @simihaze set

A photo posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

Kylie and Kendall even appeared in a music video for PARTYNEXTDOOR's 2014 single "Recognize," engaging in their favorite activity — lip-syncing in the car! Nearly 100 percent of Kylie's Snapchat videos are of her lip-syncing in the car, and music videos could be an extremely lucrative way to monetize this hobby. On behalf of Kris Jenner, I endorse this business decision.

Kylie was also featured on a Burberry Perry song last month, alongside her friends, Justine Skye and Jordyn Woods, as well as rapper Lil Yachty. This song is criminally terrible, which is aesthetically consistent with the "Glosses" video. I will count it as positive evidence of Kylie's impending music career.

Here is a series of items reported by tabloids, in no particular order and with no real faith in the accuracy therein.

  • "A close friend" to Radar Online in September 2014: "Kylie has found her calling in life — to be a singer! She is in training right now with vocal coach and producer, Tim Carter. Kyle is working on her first single! She is telling everyone that she knows she is going to be the next Katy Perry."
  • Harper's Bazaar (no cited source!) in May 2015: "The 17-year-old is reportedly taking cues from Kanye West and collaborating with her brother-in-law on [an] upcoming track."
  • "A source", to Hollywood Life in May 2015: "Kris wants Selena [Gomez] to encourage Kylie's passion for music and help guide her in her music career. To be her mentor."
  • "A source" to Radar Online in September 2014: "The girl can really, really sing. Not only can she sing, but she is also starting to write her own stuff and is a pretty good songwriter! Willow Smith has been giving her some pointers and everyone is seriously impressed."
  • "A source" to The Washington Post in May 2015: "She realized she can't compete with Kendall when it comes to modeling. So she has chosen to turn to music."

You guys, I have an announcement. I am never going to be as good at blogging as Lauren Conrad, so I have chosen to turn to music.

The unanswered questions

Mainly, can Kylie sing? Well, it depends on which day you watch her Snapchat, apparently. In this video, no!

In this video, maybe?

A big to-do was made of an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, when Kris reveals that Kylie has been taking singing lessons and that she is, in #proudmama's opinion, "really amazing" and "cute." However, on a 2015 episode of KUWTK, in which the Kardashian / Jenner sisters make a 60th birthday music video for Kris (featuring clips from the very chilling 30th birthday music video she made for herself), Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney decide to rerecord all of Kylie's vocal parts because they are unlistenable.

The other big unanswered question: the hands. The Verge's Lizzie Plaugic, whom I tried very hard to involve in this investigation, noted that the hands in this Twitter avatar are very clearly not Kylie's hands. Does that tear the whole theory apart? Not really, because Bruce Springsteen uses butt models.

The truth?

Kylie would be the first of the core Kardashian-Jenner clan to take a serious stab at pop stardom, though not the first to exhibit an interest in music — Kylie’s half-brother Brody is a C-List DJ with a Vegas residency, and while I hesitate to remind readers of Kim Kardashian’s brief flirtation with a music career, I suppose I am obligated to.

Personally, I think this is a logical career choice for her. Everyone needs their niche! I imagine the cosmetics game will get boring after a while. Now that she’s done "matte" and "gloss," I actually can’t think of any other lipstick worlds to conquer.

The only question that could really drag this conspiracy theory asunder is the biggest question: why? There’s not a clear motive for Kylie, a person who has never expressed qualms with the limelight, to pretend not to be a pop star if she actually is one. When would she reveal the truth? Would she ever? Would it be at a hay-themed festival in her hometown, to impress an emotionally abusive cowboy and protest the building of a shopping mall?

The world may never know if Kylie Jenner sang two okay pop songs and one really good pop song, but maybe the world needn't know.

Maybe a Kardashian will keep a secret that will remain unearthed for hundreds of years, and future children will write poems about the One Secret the Kardashians Kept, and writers will frame historical paradigms around it, and the film adaptation will star whoever is Tom Hanks in 2416, and Kris Jenner will attend the premiere, winsome and #proud as she was 400 years before.


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