Kidz In The Hall
The Kidz In The Hall are two true-school representatives, literally. The duo met at a University of Pennsylvania talent show in 2000. Since then, both Naledge (Chicago lyricist/MC) and Double-O (New Jersey producer/DJ) have united in a fashion similar to Gangstarr or Pete Rock & CL Smooth.
The Amazin’ Race hints at great chemistry but mostly focuses on Naledge’s wordplay. Naledge births his words atop a varied backdrop of traditional hip hop, as Race follows the street mixtape format (i.e. something borrowed, something new). Hosted by super-producer Just Blaze, who has also established a strong bond with the duo, the Kidz are poised to receive their “piece of the pie”.
With Blaze’s seal of approval, it’s only natural the mixtape begins with a Just Blaze-production. But Blaze isn’t the only connection the crew maintains. Heavyweight contributions from No-ID are sprinkled throughout the tape, including the story of struggle within “Broke Diaries”. The song features some sweet piano punches and solid drums, and is the potential title track of their debut album. Other appearances include Cornell and Kanye West, and even Janet Jackson on the Just Blaze produced “Just A Lil’ While”. Naledge acknowledges his own nastiness by referring to Janet as “Miss Jackson”, but also makes known that he’s up on her history: spittin’ lines like “Penny from Good Times”, and references about getting “behind the Velvet Rope”: that brother had me fallin’ out over those verses. Good shtuff.
Naledge is a talented wordsmith. His flow and cadence are continually on point with each performance, and he masterfully walks a fine line between “conscious” thought and thugged-out theology. It’s as though he can truly be an “every emcee”- choosing from a vast skills arsenal to capture a groove with expert delivery.
That said, there are many times throughout the mix where the influence of other notable rappers (like Jay-Z and Kanye) infects Naledge’s flow and subject matter. This is something I hope the brother conquers before the full-length is due.
The duo’s aforementioned chemistry is only exhibited on four Double-O produced tracks. “Neva Scurred” is a beautifully chopped production allowing Naledge’s freestyle to open up and drop gems like, “Niggas rock they hats cocked, and blast the nine/ post on corners, slapboxin’ with the hands of time.” The layered, step-by-step production on “N2theA” showcases the potential the duo possesses, with Naledge Born unleashing a studied double-time delivery over Double-O’s dusty blues backdrop.
We’ll all have to wait for the forthcoming Broke Diaries LP to truly realize the strength of The Kidz In The Hall’s partnership. If this chapter is indicative of the Diary to come, these Kidz might be able to write their own names beside the storied duos that came before.