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Juice Jam 2009: 20 Watts Asks The Cool Kids about Old School Hip-Hop, SU Frat Parties and their Upcoming Album by 20watts

20 Watts talks old school hip-hop and SU frat parties with the Cool Kids

The Cool Kids have “cool beats, cool raps” — and if you don’t love them already, they sure think that you will soon.  The alternative hip-hop duo, comprised of Chicago native Antoine “Mikey Rocks” Reed and Detroit native Evan “Chuck Inglish” Ingersoll, opened Juice Jam 2009 at 12:30 on Sunday afternoon.  20 Watts’ Caitlin Dewey sat down for a quick interview with The Cool Kids just before they hit the stage.

20 Watts: A lot of our readers might not have heard Cool Kids before, so can you tell me who you guys are, what you’re all about, and what kind of music you’re putting out?

Mikey: I’m Michael Rocks…

Chuck: That’s a hard question, it’s usually other people’s opinions, ’cause we don’t know what we’re doing. But I’m C, we’re the Cool Kids. We rap about cool shit.

20W: That would make sense.

M: We have cool beats, cool raps. You’d like it. If you don’t know us you’d probably like it once you heard it. So, just check some of our stuff out.

20W: You guys met in a pretty weird way, could you tell me about that?

C: It’s kind of weird, but it’s not… We knew the same people, so it wasn’t like a chance finding while I was in Detroit and he was in Chicago. We were both in Chicago and we were both trying to do the same thing, and some people were like “yo.” They told him to hit me up cause I had beats that people were checking out on Myspace.  So around [then] everyone got to talking, ’cause that was when Myspace was brand new and people were still freaking out about it.  Like nobody had a page, it was like a couple of people on there.

M: Myspace was not even poppin’ yet.

C: [Laughs] It really wasn’t.

20W: You guys have kind of made a reputation for yourself that dates back to old school hip-hop — can you tell me a little about that? Like who are the artists that influenced you?

M: It’s more along the lines of… we just knew what made older stuff good. We honed in on some of those aspects. They were focused on cool raps, cool beats with not all types of shit going on and all types of noises, and 9,000 keyboards on it and all that stuff like some people choose to do today. We kind of just honed in on the good stuff and put our spin on it. We’re not like stuck in a time zone or anything like that, where we feel restricted to stuff that happened during a certain decade or anything like that. It’s just more along the lines of we just honed in on the quality stuff and made it better, just put our own twist on it.

20W: So what’s happening with your album?

C: Things move slower for us just due to the fact that we run our own label. We’ve always kept music coming, but we never really said when the album would be, we just said that it was coming. It’s really coming now. Time always works in a weird way, it will get here when it’s supposed to get here.  It would have fell under the radar with as shitty as music has been this year, so maybe it was a good thing that it didn’t come out yet…

A lot of people are complaining about how fast people put music out. You have these albums with these shitty songs on it. You ain’t going to say that about me.  So, I could give you an album once every seven years. If that’s cool, then that’s what we’re going to do.  This one is coming because we feel like it needs to get out now. It’s time to be those dudes.

20W: How much of it is done?

M: We got some of the joints recorded. It’s not that we weren’t doing music, that mixtape… we basically just put out an album.

20W: Yeah, you guys have a ton of mixtapes.

M:  There’s like 21 songs on there… That could be like two albums damn near.  A lot of those were stuff that we had previously thought of putting on the album, we decided to just mixtape ‘em cause we could do better. We always like to have our best foot forward. We want to have the best material that we can make at the time out there. I would be mad if I had to put out something that I made like a year and a half ago. That’s not even old to a lot of people, but to us that’s old cause we get better and better every time we get back to making music. Something that I made a year and a half ago is like ancient to me, and I’m way better then that now. I would always want to have the most recent stuff up, and right now we’re finishing up all the music so it should be ready pretty soon.

20W: I know a lot of people are anxiously anticipating it.

M: It’s coming, don’t rush.

20W: I saw on Twitter that you’re looking for somewhere to go tonight — did you pick a place?

M: That was yesterday, we have to get out of here tonight.

C: We went to a house party… I think it was a frat. We were just chillin’ there.

20W: Did people know who you were?

M: A couple. More people know who we are than what we look like.

C: It wasn’t too hectic. We just went, chilled, had some beers, listened to some music for a little bit and that was about it.

20W: Is there anything else people should know about the Cool Kids?

C: We’re really, really really good at this.

— Caitlin Dewey


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