Kidz In The Hall Jump “In the Mix”
New York, N.Y. -- Back in 2006, Kidz In The Hall introduced themselves to the world with their debut album School Was My Hustle, proving to everyone just how far-reaching their talents are. Consisting of Naledge, a formidable emcee, and Double-O, the duo’s musical mastermind, the Kidz quickly made a name for themselves in the hip-hop game.
With the duo officially on the map, they were able to collaborate with some of rap’s heaviest hitters, including Bun B, Talib Kweli, and more recently MC Lyte and The Kid Daytona among others. After landing on the scene with School Was My Hustle, the Kidz have since released a follow-up, The In Crowd, which received overwhelmingly positive reviews. Now, though, the group is planning to come back even stronger with their soon-to-be-released third studio album, Land of Make Believe. With Make Believe marking the group’s second round with Duck Down Records, Naledge and Double-O plan to present the new material as some of the best of their careers.
In this Booth-exclusive, five-question interview, Naledge discusses the Kidz’ signature sounds, their evolution as artists, and what we can expect from the group in the very near future.
Land of Make Believe quotes singer Jill Scott early on: “Live life like it’s golden.” Other than producing quality music, what do you do to live life to the fullest?
I've been on a quest to find freedom. Not "We shall overcome,” Martin Luther King freedom but peace of mind, body, soul and music. I believe that dopeness is a byproduct of good vibes and good energy as well as hard work in the studio. I've been trying to go to the gym more, cut back on hanging out in the club and being a better friend, brother and son to my friends and family. I've been reading a lot of books and just trying to explore by meeting new people and traveling. I think there are so many simple things that we lose sight of when chasing money. Whatever happened to just going to a Bears game to drink beer in a Mike Ditka sweater?
All good artists evolve musically, so how is the new album different from your past releases?
This new album is the point where we've have learned how to make a album for our own sanity with a candidness that will attraction attention and enlighten at the same time. As an emcee, I am more open about who I am as a man in real life and Double O is exploring all the sounds people told him a "backpack" rap group should never make. The Land of Make Believe is our manifesto of a mid-level band almost famous but reaching for greatness while dodging bill collectors.
Kidz In The Hall’s sound can at times be described as a blend of new-school melodies with old-school flavor. Where does the inspiration for this smooth mixture come from?
It comes from us being "twentysomethings" age wise. We are old enough to remember a time where the Internet didn't exist but not young enough to remember a world without videogames. We are a byproduct of the iPod shuffle – where Native Tongues and Rawkus meets Bad Boy, Rocafella, House music and 2Pac verses on St. Ides commercials.
The new album includes the track “Bougie Girls,” which (by title alone) sounds like a hit. But seriously, is that the type of girl that catches your eye?
I grew up middle class, so I was always around that "Cosby kid" type of girl. I think on some level Rudy Huxtable was the prototype for most black males my age. She was cute, fun, driven, experimental, but also had etiquette and a big house with lots of rooms to do it in when her parents were gone. The bougie girls around me in high school had wine cellars you could drink from and beamers at the crib you could drive... it doesn't get much better as a 16 year old boy.
I believe there’s something special happening on March 9th…what was it again?
Our album drops and it's also the day Biggie passed away. So we are going to life in the game as our industry celebrates the death of a legend.