Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Cool Kids - The Bake Sale (XL 2008)

What's cooler than being cool?

Cool Kids are the coolest motherfunkers on the planet. In another attack of hipster, style-mag approved rap, here we have the Cool Kids, going down the same genre-straying lines as bands like SpankRock and Flying Lotus, all electronic and light. Where they succeed is in the beats and the lyrics. Beat-wise, you get minimal clashes of 808 drums, squelchy synthy basses that rumble and groove. It rarely gets faster than 70BOM or so, but it's a great head-nodding attack of the cool. Lyrically, these boys are fly. Their style is very cooler-than-thou, with bravado lyrics about their hipster credentials. Materialism, possessions, garms, struts, pimp wars, these are all Cool Kids concerns. They are the self-professed 'new black version of the Beastie Boys'.

'Eating fruity pebbles
How gangsta is that?
Not gangsta at all
You judging me dawg?
Please, you shop at the mall'

Ouch! They shop at boutiques for limited quality sneaks. On 'A Little Bit Cooler', they discuss how they used to be uncool before becoming fashion trendsetters, wearing garms a year ahead of time, playing Playstations when you're stuck on Segas. It's a vacuous world of babes, clothes and gaming, clean clean white sneaks. It's fine, it's light and fluffy but it's oh so cool. It's almost like the type of album Lupe Fiasco pastiches and rails against on 'The Cool', but where his nerdy polemic is righteous, this is right on. The slow beats and the the slightly sardonic superior tones to the boys make for a top album, and if you don't buy it, I guess that makes you so last season. And we'll ignore the nerdy approach these boys employ towards coolness. I'll be interested to see not only where they go from here, but also whether this album itself will stand up in a few years time. And also is this what Nas meant when he said hip hop is dead. The brilliance of this album is its lack of earnestness, its lack of depth. On the one hand it's 10 tracks of posturing and cooler-than-thou scathing attacks, on the other it's actually fun, and funny and you can tell there is a deeper satire here but as I said, time will tell with these boys. Three and a half out of five.

Ice cold.


No comments: