Hailing from Chi-town The Cool Kids are Chuck [on the left] and Mikey [on the right]. Two MC producers who come across as having known each other since nursery, yet only met about two years ago, are currently touring the world, bringing with them their no-frills, deep lyrics, thumping hip-hop sounds and well produced melodies, coming straight out of their respective bedrooms and into the ears of anyone who will listen.
Armed with an old skool sound, reminiscent of Mobb Depp and the golden era of nineties hip-hop, their lyrics and style that can only be described as their own.
Prior to the interview we saw the guys at YO YO in Notting Hill Arts where they did a live set of only three songs, which was disappointing to us but set us up nicely for the set they did the next night at Trapstars first party in Cordy House [London’s latest hotspot for raves and soirees]. With a ‘shit-we-are-just-about-to-be-raided’ vibe Cordy House seemed the perfect place to meet a band whose grimey beats and lyrics got us hyped all over summer.
So we meet Chuck and Mike…Mike is the producer come MC and Chuck – the straight up MC. Both decked out in Trapstar Varisty’s, latest Nikes and fresh New Eras, their look: 80’s throw back but without the cheese effect we have been seeing from every tom, dick and harry…[You know what we’re talking about/who you are!].
We began by asking the boys how they were finding London – they seemed excited to be here but quickly pointed out to us their opinions on British Females “They’re a bit…” [points nose to the sky] “Stush?”…We couldn’t really hate too much, coz we kinda saw where they were coming from – we also didn’t believe them – those two dudes, they had the ladies going mad at YO YO the previous night!
After the lady talk, we asked the guys how they met…This question lead to pretty modern story telling. The guys met on a random Myspace search! While surfing the Space, Chuck found Mike and decided to hit him up…who knew when he clicked “add as friend” he really meant it? The two struck a chord and began to vibe. Once they got into the studio “That was it…we were on the same page” Mike explains. “I had some beats I had been working on and Chuck came round to my house and automatically started spitting some lyrics over what I had done, “88” was made in about an hour.” We believe them. We thought this was a pretty remarkable story. Not only because, it’s great to know Myspace is doing what it’s meant to be doing – encouraging artistic creativity, but also because Mike and Chuck both share a rapport with each other that screams out ‘child hood friends’.
Getting onto the subject of the state the music business is in, we quickly realised that although they may seem young (Mike 23 and Chuck 20) they actually had opinions and valid points and were not scared to voice them. The Cool Kids vented their frustration when asked “what do you think about signing to a major label”. The rant from Mike began – “The major labels are being run by dudes who don’t know anything about music. If one of those dudes, in the office can tell ME more about music, than I already know, then maybe I’ll listen, but until then, I don’t buy it.” It was clear – the boys weren’t prepared to ‘sell out’, ‘cop out’ or compromise. The majors can’t be that bad though right? They know what they’re doing in terms of the business? “So do we?” – simply put.
The conversation then turned onto the issue of inspirations and influences. This is where Chuck was very vocal, “I like all kinds of music. Some really weird, obscure kinds, that he [Mike] just don’t get”…like…this band ‘Black Moth Super Rainbow’, they are just so out there, but so dope”. We really liked this – so many Hip Hop dudes only cite Hip Hop influences [which is cool], but these guys weren’t afraid to voice their likes and dislikes. Chuck went on to say how he’s feeling a few guitar bands, especially at the moment, while Mike explained how he’s more of a Hip Hop head.
The interview wrapped up on what was to come from The Cool Kids, “Currently we are just touring a few places” Chuck says, “We’re off to Birmingham, Bristol then Australia and Japan. It’s crazy, we’ve only been doing this for 2 years and we have already come to a place we never thought we would be, I mean touring the world? It’s crazy.”…But well deserved in our opinion. The Cool Kids – who are only 2 years old and are touring the world – That’s pretty impressive?!
So why have we brought you The Cool Kids here at PinBoard? Well, because we just wanted to share with you, what got us so excited about meeting them and speaking to them. We realised that first of all these dudes are the most humble, down to earth guys and yeah they have their opinions but we LIKE that, we encourage more artists to have more of a voice than the usual, bog standard ‘complaining’ a lot of artists do when they finally make it. The Cool Kids are not that well known [yet], but slowly they’re making their impact.
As corny as it may sound, you can tell on the offset The Cool Kids are not set out to make anything out of this adventure other than good music and have people like/enjoy what they do. “We don’t want people to understand our music, group us with terminology that we are not representing or understand our lyrics. Like most Hip Hop we are talking about our surroundings, our experiences, shit we like and shit we don’t like. It really is that simple. If you enjoy it then cool and if you don’t just switch us off”
Windowpane & Speakerbox