Tucked away on the outskirts of 5th street was the House of Vans at Mohawk. Away from the pandemonium of SXSW, HipHopDX found The Cool Kids posted in the backyard hanging out, enjoying the cool vibrations of this annual week-long music and film festival in Austin, Texas.
One spin of “Gold And A Pager” will have fans wondering what ever happened to the iconic rap duo. Settling in on a wood bench in the corner, Chuck Inglish and Sir Michael Rocks shared the real reason behind the reunion, what to expect musically, and their take on this generation of Hip Hop.
After a five (plus) year hiatus, the actual announcement of the reunion came in the form of a tweet. Many could assume plans may have been in the works for quite some time, but in reality, it was quite the opposite.
Chuck explains, “It was a two-minute decision. I just called him like ‘Yeah, it’s just time.’ It was a shit summer. Everybody was getting killed. It was like no good news. I was having a fucking horrible time. I think in life, if you have the opportunity/ability to change something, and you don’t, that’s on you.”
The surprise drop brought joy to the Hip Hop community and the news was trending on Twitter minutes after it was revealed.
In the interim, Chuck and Mike both took the time to learn how to record on their own, picking up new skills and talents that they both admitted they wouldn’t be able to get unless they ventured out on their own. Combining forces, this created a whole new playground of sounds and tactics to work with.
The Cool Kids have been working on their forthcoming LP, Special Edition Grand Master Deluxe, since August of last year. Chuck explains, “I would say what we’re about to put is, this is our first real album. Nobody heard no songs before we put it out. We actually made an album from scratch.”
When asked if they felt they had to tailor to this generation of Hip Hop, Chuck reacted quickly with a “hell no.” After admitting he liked that question, he wanted people to know, “Things that are of the times don’t mean it’s tight. It means that’s what everybody likes. And I don’t trust everybody, so I don’t know what the fuck y’all want.”
If there’s one thing we can be sure to receive from this iconic rap duo, it’s originality.
Sir Michael Rocks explains, “I try to kind of not listen to everybody when I’m recording my album. I don’t want to be influenced, to be honest. You subconsciously take influence from everywhere. I don’t want to have a layer of somebody else underneath the foundation of my music and my sound.”
Chuck jokes about waking up to Japanese funk and Russian jazz while staying at Rocks’ crib.
This led to a heated conversation about artists trying to sound like someone else. As Chuck ponders why people gravitate to artists such as Frank Ocean and Chance The Rapper, he figures it out himself.
“Because it’s the most authentic,” he says. “Frank don’t take a lyric off. Same thing with Chance. Everything is from the heart and completely from their own thought process. People want to hear what your world sounds like, not what you’re trying to make for them. No fans wants to hear music made for them. They want to hear the music you made for yourself, so we can tune in. It’s like going to a different channel.”
Summary: Authenticity is key.
Of course, with this generation’s ongoing phenomenon of old rap heads hating on mumble rap, Chuck had some very praiseworthy things to say about Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yachty.
“Uzi’s a fucking genius,” he says. “And Yachty’s a fucking genius bro. It’s just what it is. For someone like Yachty to have the voice he has, and be so intelligent to like, be completely spot on with all his visuals.”
Sir Michael Rocks chimes in, “My favorite Yachty shit is when he go fast, and go crazy. ‘Cause, he can rap.”
Unfortunately, no collabs between The Cool Kids and Lil Boat at this time. The only guest appearances fans will receive on the forthcoming album are friends Travis Barker and Killer Mike.
In the meantime, check out their new single “TV Dinner,” which will receive an equally fire visual treatment, as well their own sketch comedy series The Shit Show.