Review : Kidz In The Hall - The In Crowd
SpinThis Chicago duo, who met as undergrads at the University of Pennsylvania, hearken back to the preppy, '80s hip-hop of Leaders of the New School and Kwam é. While producer Double-O hooks up clubby hip-house ("Love Hangover," featuring Estelle) and slumpy bass jams ("Drivin' Down the Block"), rapper Naledge, along with guests Clipse, Bun B, and Little Brother's Phonte, brings slick rhymes to the true-school party. Full of playful swagger, the Kidz rarely let their emotional guard down. ...full text
VibeLike Lupe Fiasco and Kanye West, Chicago’s Kidz in the Hall have a penchant for turning the notion of the droll backpack rapper on its kufi-swathed head. Their 2006 debut, School Was My Hustle (Rawkus), borrowed Mr. West’s ongoing collegiate motif and featured songs that were cleverly polyglot, if a little anemic. While MC Naledge (right) and producer Double-O’s impressive follow-up effort The In Crowd continues in a similarly versatile vein, the vibe this time feels less like a greenhorn B-boy coming-out party than it does a self-assured statement of purpose....full text
UrbKidz In The Hall’s career could restore purists’ faith in this hip-hop shit. Last year saw the fresh-faced MC/producer duo of Naledge and Double-O gain critical acclaim with their School Was My Hustle debut on Rawkus, and (apparently) off of the strength of their music alone, they’ve upgraded to indie powerhouse Duck Down Records for their sophomore album. While their last disc was self-contained, The In Crowd has outside contributions from Masta Ace, Black Milk, their BCC labelmates and a slew of others, but don’t let the assistance fool you....full text
RapReviews.comThe kids making dope records today were born back when I was just dicovering hip-hop at the age of 9. The kids putting out releases in stores don't remember an era before the Wu-Tang Clan existed. See those kids standing out there in the hallway? They haven't even finished college yet and I graduated a decade ago. It's amazing the shit kids are on these days. They're growing up faster, they're dropping records that are fresher, and their connections in the music industry are impeccable. I didn't have connects like that when I was in school - "The In Crowd" was the furthest place from where I stood. Of course it probably didn't help that I was the only kid in my graduating class rocking hip-hop while everybody else was into country music, but sometimes you can be the kid ahead of the curve too. If I was the kid in the hall it was only because I was standing there alone, on my own shit, willing to go solo rather than join the masses just to fit in.
Perhaps kids today can relate though. We may have grown up in different eras with different peers and a different outlook on how mainstream hip-hop is, but there's little doubt when I hear "Drivin' Down the Block (Low End Theory)" by Kidz in the Hall that they are speaking my language. The self-produced beat by the group's DJ Double-O is that fire, thumping like the eight-oh-eight's of old, which is only appropriate when you hear samples of Masta Ace's "Jeep Ass Niguh" making up introduction and the chorus of the track. If that weren't enough of a 1990's nostalgia trip, Naledge even interjects some singing interpolating the chorus of OutKast's "Elevators (Me & You)" about two-thirds of the way through. ...full text
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