Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You Missed Out: The Cool Kids


Remember when kids started wearing 80s' hi-tops and flat-brimmed baseball caps again? I guess they're still doing it. At least they were today at Millennium Park for the free Cool Kids show at noon. About 95 percent White Sox caps too. It's a beautiful thing.

And if it's still cool to wear these goofy shoes and hats at a Cool Kids show, then it's still cool. This is how the Cool Kids make their mark in the rap world. They're not as interested in street cred as they are fun/cool cred. They rap about video games, 90s' basketball, and Chicago. Their albums could've been the soundtrack to NBA Jam. They sound like a couple of guys who grew up with the Bulls dynasty, and smoothly transferred their sweet childhood memories into inoffensive hip hop jams.

Inoffensive, but fun. Just like video games and the NBA in the 90s'. Of course, there's some caution. After all, Mortal Kombat was pretty bloody. And Dennis Rodman was wormy. But it's all good with the Cool Kids. Being youthful isn't about being bad, it's about having fun. So of course we're gonna hear rhymes about bicycles and Penny Hardaway. The Cool Kids have no intention of offending. They just wanna make people happy the way the Bulls did for Chicago. The way Sega did for junior highers of the 90s'.

They played mostly new songs at the show, because, as Mikey reminded us, "the hometown gets it first." And the new stuff fits right in with the rest. Old school rap beats and witty rhymes hook in the listener for an easy head nod. No pressure.

And even though the Cool Kids make some of the best summertime music in the world, their standout song was about freezing Chicago winters. "Bundle Up!" was the chorus. Something I've always heard and said for my entire life in this town, but never stopped to think if it might be a uniquely "Chicago" saying. Leave it to the Cool Kids to bring the simple vocab of the Midwest into a rap show. But yeah, we do live by the "City of the frozen lake," and we do need to bundle up in a few months.

But definitely not for a few months. Because that would mean that the free summer concerts are over. And I'm not gonna miss out on that.

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