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Kidz In The Hall - New Kidz On The Block

Author: Carlisle Rogers
Monday, 16 June 2008

American duo Kidz In The Hall programme 3D's Carlisle Rogers with subliminal hip hop messages, and what it takes to be part of The In Crowd.

Double-O and Naledge are walking down a street in New York that looks like all the others while a siren blasts past them on the way to another human tragedy.  The rap duo just released The In Crowd, their second long player, an album chock full of subtle references and fresh beats, but ultimately a nod back to the heyday of cerebral hip hop: the early nineties.

Naledge, who handles lyrical duties, says every song on the album is a different experience; beginning with lead single Drivin' Down the Block, which samples Masta Ace's Born to Roll served up Houston-style, and driving through a whole slew of approaches. 'Drivin' Down the Block' is more of a fun-loving record, which is what happens when you are getting ready to go out. Lucifer's Joyride is when the party is happening and the more inebriated you get, the more your imagination runs wild. To me it's a very introspective record. It's me talking about the transition from working the 9 to 5 and being a starving artist, to being a starving artist with a record deal to gaining some fame.

'It's about starting to get some recognition, get a little bit of money, but people thinking that stuff is bigger than it really is, and also dealing with record executives that want you to write a certain kind of song. Middle of the Map is also a lyrical rhyme-off and a beat battle all in the same record. It's a very hip hop centric record and very grindy and gritty, back to the essence of it. It's more like chilling with a girl and having conversations with her. Snob-hop is more of an abstract record. Every emotion, every experience from the spectrum of everyday life is represented on this album.'

Double-O says that lead single Drivin' Down the Block has been kicking around for a few years now, since before their first album, School Was My Hustle. 'The idea came via a friend of mine, Excel, who sparked the idea in my head that you can still do this Houston shit regardless of what people say about it becoming repetitive and shit; it's ingenious to just screw music in general. I think that is a whole other form of turntablism that has really jumped out in the last couple of years in terms of innovation.

'I wanted to do it in a way that kept it really hip hop, so initially I did a record using Slick Rick and I liked the beat, but didn't like the way the sample came out. We dusted that idea off last summer, still liked the beat, edited the beat a little bit and just came in and found a sample that I felt really worked. If I start hearing 808 the first thing I always think about is a car system because that is what it was made for. When I found Born to Roll, it made sense to craft it around a car idea. The hip hop subliminal messages were easy, you know, like the Low End Theory tape. So I did it in a way that older heads would get and younger kids would like because it sounded cool.'

WHO: Kidz In The Hall
WHAT: The In Crowd out now through Duck Down/Shogun