The Cool Kids - Totally Flossed Out (Cover Artwork)

The Cool Kids

Totally Flossed Out (2007)


Lupe Fiasco. Common. Kanye West. It seems like today's biggest names in conscious rap have all sprung out of Chicago. Following in the footsteps laid by the aforementioned artists, the Cool Kids are busting out of Chi-town just as hard as their forefathers. The duo consists of Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish, two kids who met on the Internet, recorded for two hours after meeting for the first time ever, and got picked up by famed underground producer Diplo after their first ever live gig. Diplo ended up releasing their first mix tape on his Mad Decent label.

This re-release of the Instant Classics Mix Tape, retitled the Totally Flossed Out EP and distributed through C.A.K.E. Recordings, is one hell of a debut for a relatively young rap duo. While most blooming rap acts are pumping the slower bass-heavy crunk/hyphy beats, Cool Kids have decided to look back further than UGK for their inspiration. Right off the bat you can tell that the group worships Run DMC, Nas and LL Cool J when the album opener "Black Mags" starts playing.

Though most of the critical attention has been focused on the album's beats, Mikey's rapping isn't anything to be scoffed at. His flow is delightfully relaxed and original, and his lyrics are fairly witty Most of his lyrics are throwbacks to the Run DMC `80s era of hip-hop, and they've even devoted an entire song (aptly named "Gold and a Pager") to gold rope necklaces and outdated pagers ("you know if my phone is off you can page my ass"). While not quite at the level of uber-poeticism and intelligence of Black Star or KRS One, Mikey lands some witty one-liners here and there ("I don't use bad grammar / so please excuse this / I'm just trying to let niggas know 'who I is'"). The duo are also fans of BMX bikes, and you'll catch many references to Dyno bikes, wheelies, and pedaling throughout their songs. Imagine Lupe's "Kick Push" with two wheels instead of four.

Overall, this EP is a refreshingly original release that outshines most of the other rap releases of 2007. Don't expect Cool Kids to stay underground for long, as they've already been on tour with M.I.A., Lupe and Kanye. I would expect huge things both musically and monetarily from this duo. But until their LP debut drops this fall, I would suggest you try and find this EP at your local music shop or (more than likely) you local file sharing network and bump it as loud as you can.