The Cool Kids - The Cooler Kings
Rocking last year’s Laneway Festival, The Cool Kids are ready to cement their reputation Down Under with their new EP The Bake Sale. Talking to 3D’s Cyclone, the Chicago duo divulge their plans for further domination.
The Clipse, watch out; The Cool Kids are the new cult spawns of the underground.
The Chicago duo – Mikey Rocks (aka Antoine Reed) and Chuck Inglish (Evan Ingersoll) – have unleashed an old-fashioned EP, The Bake Sale, after consolidating their Australian fanbase last summer at the Laneway Festival.
“The people out there were really receptive to us – even though some of 'em didn't know who we are,” Mikey recalls.
They intend to return here following an album.
Uniting three years ago, The Cool Kids may aspire to recapture the golden days of hip hop, but The Bake Sale isn't burdened by the nostalgia that has, at times, rendered 'true skool' hip hop ridiculously reactionary – retrograde, even.
The Cool Kids' minimal, clubby hip hop - as heard on tracks like Black Mags and 88 – is very 2008.
At 11 tracks long, The Bake Sale could be mistaken for an LP. “Those are a lot of the songs that we made when we first met each other,” Mikey says. “Initially, we were just gonna put them all out together and make a mixtape out of them. Then we kept adding new songs and taking the old songs off. And then, when we finally decided we should put the cap on it and release it, it felt like an EP.
“We just decided to put it out so the people who know about us can have some music, and the people who don't know about us will have something to go out and look for when they find out about us!”
The Cool Kids have stayed steadfastly indie, harnessing MySpace. They've connected with Flosstradamus, Diplo and A-Trak, rather than courting major label types. All deliberate, confirms Mikey. “We started off by doing a lot ourselves - and we grew to like that. We grew comfortable with that. We learned how to build a machine that works, so we decided to keep that route going because, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.”
“Things were working out well the way we'd done them because we were making our own decisions. We were releasing things when we wanted to release them, as opposed to waiting in line on some label or getting shoved because this A&R ain't got his shit together yet. We like doing things on our own time, so we decided to keep to the indie route because it allows us to do that.”
However, The Cool Kids haven't totally circumvented mainstream hip hop. They cut a song, Gettin' It, with rap superstar Lil Wayne, facilitated by DJ Benzi. It surfaced on mixtape.
The Cool Kids, hailing from the same city as Barack Obama and Kanye West, feel they belong to a (r)evolutionary generation in the otherwise stagnant hip hop. “It's a new wave of hip hop artists taking a different approach,” Mikey maintains. “I don't really know to what extent, but there's definitely something new going on here.”
“It's almost at the end of that rope before stuff starts to change - it's almost at the end of its 'dark ages', as I like to call it sometimes.”
WHO: The Cool Kids
WHAT: The Bake Sale EP through Remote Control
WHEN: Out now