Lollapalooza 2011, Sunday: The Cool Kids

Hey, Lolla: "Hands in the air even if your arms don't work!" In a lineup perennially short on metal and hip-hop, it's always refreshing to break up the ever-present post-this and electro-that with bona fide MCs whose crowd hyping doesn't come off like a cry of desperation (looking at you, Bloody Beetroots). Speaking of the Death Crew 77, gamers unfamiliar with Chicago's hometown rap duo may have come across the Cool Kids mashing it up with the Beetroots on Need for Speed: Nitro, or solo on any of a smattering of glossy, sport-themed cartridges…sorry, discs. For all the talk of Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish's facial-physical detachment in performance, there's no denying the pair's seamless verbal junctions, crimping together aw-HELL-no flows like: "She said I need me a baño / Cause you be sharp like the keys of a piano / She blowin' my candles like Feliz Cumpleaños."


Heading to Grant Park on the El, I was stunned to brush past a Guardian Angel, black fingerless gloves and red beret in tow. I had no idea these populist agents of safety were still around. It proved to be a fitting start to a day featuring an act "bringin' '88 back." Dropping the epic bass early, the Kids opened with stunner Bassment Party. The duo were unexpectedly looking a bit stylistically tame, with Chuck sporting a tucked-in pink polo and Mikey working a blue button-down, but the tickey-tickey 808 blips and spleen-vibrating bass were anything but. Following "Gold and a Pager," Chuck let the crowd know the Kids were here for the haul: "It's hot as hell, but we in this bitch!" There's nothing like hot tubbing in hometown love, and the pair soaked up the outstretched arms thrown forward during "A Little Bit Cooler," lickety-split flows abounding. The pulsating Cool Kids graphic splashed behind the stage looked like it belonged on one of Chuck's beloved custom sneakers, a backdrop of high-contrast hues for favorite cuts like "Black Mags," "Sour Apples" and the insanely clever sample of the Zombies' "Time of the Season" on "Get Right."


In the news this morning, it was reported that Chicagoans are being poisoned by the toxic metal chromium in our drinking water. Here's a solution: Run the H2O under a never-ending Cool Kids set, and the bass'll shake that shit right to the bottom.



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