An hour into our sit-down with the Cool Kids, Sir Mikey Rocks pauses when we ask what he would have done differently as a young artist on the rise. With a world-weary sigh, he admits: “Make sure to tax everyone that’s tryna jack your wave and everybody that’s disrespectfully doing it.” The rapper knows it’s petty, “but that means a lot to people…” Mikey and his talkative partner-in-rhyme Chuck Inglish liken their situation to that of Nikola Tesla, whose pioneering inventions were largely overshadowed by those of his contemporary and rival, Thomas Edison. ” Chuck notes facetiously, “but his name is crackin’ right now!”
The same could be said for the Cool Kids. Since pioneering the snapback-and-Starter-jacket movement with their boom-bap revivalism on The Bake Sale, the pair have gone from prolific to indefinite hiatus. The duo reformed during a particularly tumultuous week last year: “Three black kids had been killed… The world was crumbling, and it was like: ‘Am I gonna be the one to make someone’s day better? Or am I not gonna do shit?’” Asks Chuck Inglish. Once they linked back up, Inglish says the group was focused: “My whole goal in life is making sure black kids know they can be cool. You don’t gotta be a thing, you can just be you.”
On this week’s episode of HYPEBEAST Radio, the Cool Kids explain how the MySpace era differs from the Soundcloud Rap era of today (“Ain’t no girls on Soundcloud,” says Chuck Inglish); why the pair never wait for Jordans (“If you campin’ out for shoes, we gon’ rob you for ‘em” — Chuck, again); and why rappers like Russ need to check themselves before they speak on artists like Chance The Rapper. Chuck also tells the story of how Lil B From The Pack became Lil B and what the pair were up to while JAY-Z performed at Glastonbury.
Listen to the episode above.