Sunday, November 05, 2006

Ivy League Hip-Hop: The Next Generation? -- Part 2

In my most recent Saturday morning ritual of hip-hop blog scanning I came across a flyer that announced both The Clipse and Kidz In the Hall would be performing at the Knitting Factory that evening. Technology being the convenient and integral social entity that it is, I sent Smartness a text and we promptly made virtual arrangements to attend.

While I was certainly excited to check out The Clipse live for the very first time – as indicated by my incessant chanting of “Wamp wamp, what it do, what it do” all day Saturday-- I was more excited to confirm the hype surrounding Kidz In the Hall, as they were the subject of one our threads last week and judging by what I’ve read on both their website and okayplayer.com, they appear to be exactly the type of kindred hip-hop academics the majority of the content on our blog caters towards.

Fast forward to Saturday night and we found ourselves standing in the cramped back of the aforementioned venue, alongside more suburban 18 year olds than a Jay-Z concert (note: this is the typical demographic for most hip-hop concerts).

After patiently waiting for a few of the other unfamiliar acts on the bill to wrap up, Double-O (a 2004 Olympian and UPENN grad) of Kidz In the Hall began to set up shop for their set. Naledge (from Chi-Town and also a UPENN grad) soon took the stage and initially I wasn’t sure what to make of him, as his sunglasses had him looking like a Chi-Town stunt double for Kanye. Aesthetics aside, his delivery and lyrical content quickly won me over, most importantly demonstrated in my purchase of their Oct. 31 album release: School Was My Hustle (peep the tagline at the very bottom of this page) upon the completion of the concert.

In an odd and refreshing sense, the entire persona that is Kidz In the Hall is the conceptual antithesis of Kanye’s College Dropout”. In proudly extolling academic achievement they negate all of the popular stereotypes associated with rappers and, resultantly, their music comes across relevant and digestible without being preachy (an issue I always try to keep in mind in composing fresh blog threads and when mentoring). To Kidz' credit, many well-intentioned and seasoned hip-hop artists struggle in similar pursuits (see: Kweli’s career trajectory), often admitting that they’re all-together ambivalent as a scapegoat for those conflicting moments that present themselves throughout one’s career (see: Kanye).

That said, I have difficulty going so far as to say these brothers are the absolute saviors of hip-hop, but I do look forward to seeing how they’ll be received by the masses. With Just Blaze co-signing for them, they have a better chance to bridge the gap than most.

Should Kidz In the Hall get the chance to read this thread I formally extend the Postgraduate Musings Browneph olive branch and invite them to get at us: 05jed@alumni.williams.edu.

School was also our hustle. Let’s build together for the sake of hip-hop.

1 comment:

Brother Smartness said...

Listened to their album last night…and it is now on heavy IPod rotation.