The Cool Kids: That (New) New School
With all the buzz surrounding new artists in Hip-Hop these days, Hip-Hop Wired got a chance to sit down with Chuck Inglish, one half of The Cool Kids, to talk about Hipsters, the Midwest and the changing of the guard in rap music.
HipHopWired: Talk to us about the Hipster movement in Hip-Hop, do you even feel like there still is a Hipster movement.
Chuck Inglish: That was like the swine flu yo, it didn't really exist. It's like sometimes people don't understand young Black people doing sh&% in a different way, they can't just let it be, they gotta give it a name. So instead of just being rap ni**as, we gotta be Hipsters cause we don't dress like everybody else.
HipHopWired: So where does your unique retro style come from?
Chuck Inglish: We didn't come up like that, we came up like everybody else. There ain't nothing new under the sun so you ain't gonna start nothing. Every place you go there's gonna be somebody that dresses like you or thinks like you and you just can't escape that. Me and Mikey got real tired of feeling like you gotta look one way to do this sh%$. As far as the Hipster thing, that's something they made up. You can flip your rapping and people would give it another name so you not gone dodge that. So I wouldn't short come everybody's achievements by saying that we were a part of some movement, cause those sh&$s stop. Know what I mean, this ain't something that's about to stop, I'mma do this as long as I can.
HipHopWired: So you don't think it's fair to put all the new rappers in groups like that? Like how they used to put you all in the same group as The Pack when “Vans” was out?
Chuck Inglish: Yeah that's some 2006 sh&t. Not saying the Pack is 2006 sh$t, but asking us about stuff like we all alike. That's when they started to pop, Lupe started to pop and sh$t just started looking different, and then Kanye came and started doing his thing and it showed others if this works then my Shyte'll work. Like it can happen. And with all that stuff we've been in here for a while. So its like that part has came and passed…about what do we describe ourselves as, we're just in it for the love of rap.
HipHopWired: So what makes this time so much different from previous generations in rap?
Chuck Inglish: A lot of us new cats, we rap babies. This is all we've listened to since we were born so it's kinda embedded in us, I know nothing else. That's why when you said that Hipster Shyte, anybody who feels like we do, you like, “Awww man, not that again.”
HipHopWired: What do you think about the Hip-Hop scene in Chicago and the music that is coming out of the Midwest in general?
Chuck Inglish: It's good but I feel like that old school Shyte was regional. I know everybody says where they're from but the music resonates in a different way. It's so many different sounds in Chicago you would think it was all country know what I mean so it's really hard to say the Chicago sound. There are several sounds in Detroit, that's where I'm from so you know you got whole different sounds of music in Detroit. Especially in Black music; even in St. Louis, all the Midwest cities, we have a bunch of different sounds, so people gotta figure out what to call it cause it's no longer regional. Like Cali has a bunch of sounds, its just a new generation. We've listened to everything, so its hard to have this one style, because when people have new styles they didn't have anything prior to that. Like they didn't have Bone Thugs so they had to be the Bone Thugs themselves.
HipHopWired: So it's like being Lebron James of your music.
Chuck Inglish: Yeah man it's just different, just something completely new, the old Shyte is over with. It ain't over with but it ain't the same no more. 20 is the new 20 now. I know it's hard for some of these older folks to accept; I'm turning 25 this year. I'm in my mid 20's you know, we gotta grow up and own our sh&t.
HipHopWired: I'm right there with you being 24.
Chuck Inglish: So you know how it feels when you are trying to convince people to let you have your Shyte now. Let me have my space to do me, and I don't want your advice, I want to do it my way.
HipHopWired: Speaking of doing it your way, when can we expect a new Cool Kids album?
Chuck Inglish: We just had our mixtape come out, we got a counter on our website, its over 160,000 downloads and spread around pretty fast. Our whole album is a whole series and sh%t, we got a mixtape for it, its gonna be some new sh&t, like we gone have previews, like movies have previews, but its music and not videos. We got the mixtape called Gone Fishing, which is on our website, and then our album comes out this fall called, When Fish Ride Bicycles, and then two weeks after that I'm going to drop a post album mixtape called the Tackle Box.
HipHopWired: So it's a multiple part project?
Chuck Inglish: Yeah, just trying to give people something different and not just drop an album and the next week start talking about the next album. We want to give people an entire project so you can remember that whole series of music that came out at that time. We're just having fun with it, I've never had more fun making music and the more we go along, the more me and Mikey kinda figure out what we're good at and it just gets better. We don't want to be the best, we just want to be the best at what we do.
HipHopWired: How did you guys hook up with Don Cannon for the mixtape?
Chuck Inglish: Cannon's the homie. We met and realized that all of us were a lot alike and we was all into the same sh&t and we had a mixtape before but it was more like an EP but there's something about giving away music for free right now that I'm really into. It gives people a chance to put faith back into music again instead of being burned like we've all been burned. Spend $19.00 on some Shyte and get 3 good a*s songs, get outta here bum. Now I feel like the same way, you gotta have music that ain't the same Shyte. Like I'd be mad if like these playoffs were going on and I didn't have any music out, people are gonna listen to music and remember how this summer was.
HipHopWired: And you guys are doing the album independent right?
Chuck Inglish: Yeah we in a situation we trying to fight through, but regardless to that it will be coming through our label.
HipHopWired: And what are the advantages to doing it independent?
Chuck Inglish: Cause man, we ain't gonna make any money through the label. Like I said man, I live for my sh&t, I'm not about to give it to nobody and the machine just gets you there faster. If you are willing to do the work and willing to make sure every album is better than the last album, and every show is better than the last show. Within a couple years you gonna be making more money than they can pay you. So why would you screw yourself over by having somebody tell you what you have to do? The last thing I want is to have somebody telling me what kind of music to make when you don't make music. What the f&%k you gonna tell me to make? How do you know anything? That's just the attitude I have and I don't like being that type of person but if I ain't around those people then nobody can say I have that attitude.
The worst thing you can do is criticize something you don't do or be in the business of something you don't care about; there are a lot of people in this industry that don't even like music, they just like the money. I only need money to eat. That's how much I'm into this sh&t. I don't buy nothing. I make enough to do whatever the hell I want, but I don't. I just buy keyboards, some shoes and groceries. I might rent a car when I gotta go somewhere. I never bought jewelry, I feel like I'm not here for that, I'm here for what we started. And what's the label going to do that we can't do for ourselves? We toured the world twice and paid for our own videos.
HipHopWired: Are you doing any outside production that we should keep an ear out for?
Chuck Inglish: Yeah I actually just hit Wale about some stuff. Me and production, that's my thing, I got into rapping late. I've always liked words though. Like being able to be the one on your own beats makes a lot of sense so that's how I kinda came about, I knew how I wanted to sound so I just got good at how to do it and ran with it, so now its my new favorite thing. I been such a fan of it my whole life so it was bound to happen. Like I was the biggest rap fan ever, and listened to everybody's production and lyrics and then you just start to make up your own.
HipHopWired: Who is your favorite rapper of all time?
Chuck Inglish: Probably Rae and Ghost. Uh it's like I had pairs, and then I was huge into the west coast like the Dogg Pound and Snoop, Mack 10, I grew up on all that. I liked all that. Then I remember riding to this summer camp in 93' and I was like 9, that was when I heard Outkast for the first time. It was on from then on.
HipHopWired: How do you feel about other current rappers right now?
Chuck Inglish: It's the new school, that's what it is right now. We the grown ups now. So it's only appropriate to see things happening like this. It's gonna be interesting to see how things play out the next few years, it may be something you never seen before like LeBron James. I'm for everybody as long as they keep an honest love for this thing and don't' start abusing it, and we see what happens when you do that, and money becomes the reason for doing it. It's lights out, when your focus shifts to other sh^t, your music will turn to sh%t. You can't do both. You can't be more creative when you worry about sh%t that makes you not creative. You can't be creative and not have that be your focus in my opinion.
HipHopWired: What about a Kanye West or a Pharrell with their creative fashion outlets?
Chuck Inglish: Well that depends, for me, I like wearing clothes; I don't care about making clothes. I just know that I'm really good at one thing and when I start doing other sh%t I just become kinda good at it. I just feel like I don't need a new challenge in something else, it's so much for me to do in music I don't think I can get bored with it. Like I said I'm young, I don't know how I'm gonna feel when I'm 34. I may tell you a different story. But right now all I want to do is make music. Cool Kids sh&t.
I don't want to hear another persons come back joint. Kids I hang out with don't want to hear that sh#t; if your goal was to make your money then make your money and be the f&%k out. Quit taking money out the new ni**as mouth. It's still some albums that's out from some artists that you know are gonna do this forever, but its some other artists that just play the game where they got this, and then a new this, and a new this and then they got a new girlfriend and now they got a new album now they got a new movie. Make up your mother-f&^king mind. You don't see old hoopers coming back and taking roster spots from new ni**as. If your time is over let it be done. And I'm just talking in general, I know a lot of young cats that feel like that, it's like you try to get your music out and its just too many people putting out sh^t and you know they don't have a love for it.
And really I'm not complaining about sh$t. I'm happy with where we are and I understand how we are gonna do our Shyte. I just hope everybody else finds out the best way to do their sh^t to make it a new situation that they talk about 20 years from now. When things weren't looking good these young guys came out of their own hands and made something new in this industry. That's what I feel about all the new guys, everybody has their own sound. Wale got his Shyte; you know what a Wale song is. Cudi got his sh&t, we got our Shyte. Drake's got his sh&t, Asher, Currency… You gotta have your own thing to last right now. You gotta be original, so now we gotta take original music and find an original way to deliver it to the people.