It’s tough work getting a hip hop blog off the ground. It’s hard to get the word out about your product, and it’s even tougher when you aren’t consistently putting your product out. But Joe Kaiser and I each have full time careers and this stuff is time consuming.
I bring up our blog woes partially to plant a bug in the mind of some potential writers and partially to explain why I am just now reviewing Gone Fishing, a mixtape that was released in May. But mostly I’m just trying to say that I feel the Cool Kids’ pain. Like Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rocks, I too am part of a promising Chicago duo that just can’t get things started. So I don’t blame the Cool Kids for whatever the hell is holding up their debut album, When Fish Ride Bicycles. I’m just going to sit back and enjoy this mixtape, just as I’m sure all of you enjoy the occasional half-assed news stories we put out.
Gone Fishing sees the Cool Kids doing pretty much the same stuff they did on The Bake Sale EP. Inglish produces pretty much everything here and a number of the songs are supposedly going to be on the LP, whenever it finally comes out. Chuck and Mikey are still rapping about the same things: bicycles, fish and partying. They also have some of the best sports-related lyrics west of Wale.
Really, the only beef I have with Gone Fishing is that it is a mix-tape and so suffers from the same things as most mixtapes. It’s too long. It’s sloppy. The production is not great. Worst of all, it’s got Don Cannon yelling all over it. The guy’s always a bit obnoxious with his random bellowing and that goofy sound effect “CANNON” he always uses, but at least with more hardcore rappers you expect to hear someone you don’t give a shit about yelling out nonsense over the music. Hearing him yelling over the Cool Kids’ throwback rhymes and beats is just…bizarre. And loud. Plus, I can’t decide which is more annoying. Is it the inquisitive, “Th..Th..The Cannon” or the reverberating “Cannon –annon –on”?
At least Gone Fishing avoids the never-ending parade of no-name emcees that plagues most mixtapes. Mikey and Chuck handle most of the duties themselves, with an occasional nod to local talent, including a minute and a half of GLC rambling some nonsense about pimps and monkeys in diapers that is actually kind of hilarious. The only high profile guest slots go to Ludacris and Bun B on an excellent remake of “Pennies”, the first single from When Fish Ride Bicycles. At some point I need to sit down and write an essay on why Luda sounds so much better on other people’s songs, but for now just know that he absolutely destroys this track, rapping, “I get a hundred a verse so put a bid on it / Unless you’re God or got a Cool Kid on it / Then I might do it for free / Cause what these bitches do for them they might do it for me.”
“Gone Fishing” is far from perfect but it should be enough to tide us over until When Fish Ride Bicycles (or, more likely, the next mixtape) is released. When it comes down to it, the Cool Kids are really all about the personality of the two guys on the mic, and it’s pretty hard to dislike a couple kids who, as Mikey puts it on “Popcorn”, are “here to jump on your couch.”
Posted by Mike Denslow at Jul 29, 2009 10:24 PM