The second half of the 2000s saw a reemergence in Hip-Hop music being able to work wonders for its artists without big marketing dollars additionally to a renewed interest in retro materialism. Sir Michael Rocks and Chuck Inglish may be named The Cool Kids, but they fathered plenty of their peer’s styles and movements with their game-changing Totally Flossed Out/The Bake Sale EP releases.
Years of flirting with major label ideology and mixtapes ensued but The Cool Kids have deemed the independent route to be their avenue of choice. When Fish Ride Bicycles has been a long time in the making and fans of the new and old variety are all exposed to high dosages of what the pair bring to the ocean table.
In a manner of speaking, The Cool Kids pick right up where duos like EPMD left off, bouncing their status updates off one another to create fervent party jams nonstop. What the Mayer Hawthrone-supported “Swimsuits” is to the brightest days of summer, “Bundle Up,” insulated with a raptronica keyboard melody, offers up the ambiance of blasting their music through a snowy roadway from subwoofers. There’s no set point to where their specific verses begin and end. In true Cool Kid fashion, they work as tag-team, seeing the track to the finish line only to build upon the next with more references to Jordan’s, honey dips and their ever growing collection of basketball jerseys.
Colorful babble of minutiae aside, it’s the production that makes a Cool Kid product pop and sizzle and When Fish Rides Bicycles largely upholds the tradition with simple breakbeats with an assorted menu of toppings such as electrofunk (“Boomin’”), and traditional piano-laden Hip-Hop (“Roll Call” with Asher Roth, Chip tha Ripper and Boldy James). Those hoping for a little bass to go along with all this swag will luck out with the rumbling of “Rush Hour Traffic’s” mesmerizing drum patterns and light hi-hat garnish alongside “Gas Station” which is one part Gap Band funk, one part pimp walk anthem, three times dope when you include Bun B’s intro. Excluding the clunky, Neptunes produced “Get Right,” the sounds of the project are all worth their weight in caviar.
The biggest deterrent is The Cool Kids’ lyrics, which have never been geared towards instructing fingers towards the rewind button. WFRB is also light on concepts whether it be the choruses or overall purpose for the songs. Be that as it may, Sir Michael Rocks and Chuck Inglish still lead the convoy to many riding in their lane and they decisively use their fins to mash the pedals on an album that embraces the movement.
Label: Green Label Sound/C.A.K.E. Recordings | Producers: Chuck Inglish, The Neptunes, Travis Barker