BJ The Chicago Kid feat. Freddie Gibbs and Problem- “Smokin’ and Ridin”
Fun Fact- BJ the Chicago Kid’s real name is Bryan James Sledge, which is a pretty good name.
bruh im googlin some random shit right. i typed 4 letters and my quick results turned into a whole nother language some arabic shit. i clicked it and i seen the heaviest flex i ever seent
look as this shit
this nigga squattin on a mercedes sls wit a lion behind a lamborghini gallardo
Played 2068 times.
- Princess Daisy when tagging in, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (Nintendo EAD)
Satoshi Ise- “This Is True Love Makin’ “
Genre- the 1990s
Fun Fact- This is tuna with bacon.
Parliament- “Theme from the Black Hole”
Fun Fact- Parliament’s Gloryhallastoopid is a concept album that explains how funk created the universe.
I’ve been meaning to review this album formally for a while. It was meant to go up on a website with a score, 600 word count limit, and my name stamped at the top as if it mattered. As it got continually delayed I dropped that plan because I’m too close to the project.
I don’t mean that in a “I was somehow involved in the production or promotion of this product” kind of way. I’ve been listening to The Cool Kids in some form for almost half a decade now. Especially in the case of Sir Michael Rocks’ solo albums, I couldn’t give this an unbiased review. Or at least, a review that fit into a 600 word limit.
I’ve been listening to rap since cassette tapes were in and was lucky enough to have two parents to train me on the classics and let me listen to The Chronic, Enter The Wu-Tang, and Straight Outta Compton since…well, since around the time I was probably too young to listen to them.
Listening to gangster rap can be a power trip. I remember my dad yelling the lyrics to “Gangsta Gangsta” while we were driving one day, matching Ice Cube’s righteous fury for reasons I wouldn’t understand for years. I rocked Wu-Tang Clan shirts in high school and blasted Sean Price out of my car’s crappy speakers because I thought I was cool. Gangster rappers lead the lifestyle I could only dream about and by listening to them, I could feel that power for a little while.
After my little brother and sister were born, my tastes in music slipped away from gangster rap and away from rap entirely for years. If I did listen to NWA, it was with headphones on. Now even when I’m driving with my little bro or sis, I cut the rap off. Especially for my sister.
I’ve never talked with her about it, but I don’t feel great about listening to gangster rap with her around. I don’t wanna launch into an essay about rappers’ general disrespect for women, but let’s just say I feel like listening to “I Ain’t Never Loved A Ho And I Don’t Love No Bitch” with my little sister is setting a poor example.
So, The Cool Kids’ “Bake Sale” had a monumental impact on my musical tastes. They were cool for different reasons than gangster rappers are. But they didn’t go all the way to the “conscious rap” end of the spectrum. They had cash but didn’t work illegally to gain it. They were trendsetters for fashion and music for YEARS afterwards, but barely even mentioned how huge their impact on hip-hop was because bragging ain’t cool. And they were relatable. These guys were riding bicycles, and chilling on their couch at home playing Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. And they are cooler than I’ll ever be.
So over time, The Cool Kids grew apart and started releasing solo records. I lost Chuck Inglish but kept up with Sir Michael Rocks. “The Rocks Report” was another landmark for me. A long mixtape that blended his Cool Kids cooler-than-thou personality with some more aggressive drug raps. There were a few songs like “Coochie Crook” and “Nympho” that never clicked with me because they were too “Not Cool Kids”. Then there were songs like “Bahamas”, “Summer Song”, and “Livin It Up" that nailed it with lush production and the Cool Kids Vibe I loved.
"Lap of Lux" was my favorite album of 2012 and maybe Sir Michael Rocks’ best work. But I noticed that his style was diverging even more. This is Not The Cool Kids. The first song is a trap song. The Cool Kids don’t borrow from trends, they create them. "Great" objectifies women, all the way up to the video with girls in bikinis prancing around. The Cool Kids don’t objectify women…often enough for me to notice.
Sir Michael Rocks the solo artist and Mikey Rocks of The Cool Kids are not the same entity. It took me a while to reconcile the difference in my head and get over it. I feel like I spent a long time deliberately avoiding mainstream rap and its worn-out “sell drugs, kill foes, use women” tropes and looked for alternatives like The Cool Kids to get away from it. To see that group basically turn into what I DIDN’T like was jarring at first…but I got over that.
Who am I to say what an artist can and can’t do? Sir Michael Rocks undoubtedly changed from The Rocks Report until now in terms of subject matter. But I still enjoy his music. I might not share “F.B.A.G." with people as readily as I’d recommend "Deal Went Sour" to anyone who will listen (seriously, go listen to that), but I can enjoy both. I can’t listen to 100% conscious rap or 100% gangster rap all the time, it gets tiring. I need a mix of both.
I guess I should actually talk about Banco now.
To put it simply, this is the mix of “old” and “new” Mikey Rocks that I’ve been waiting for. The new Sir Michael Rocks shouts “Six!” on nearly every track, alluding to his multiple cell phones and drug dealing lifestyle. The old Sir Michael Rocks compares his tailor-made suits to Yusuke from Yu Yu Hakusho, plays Final Fantasy 7 on his couch, and gets into Pokemon battles on the street. They’re both on this album.
The intro track gets personal in ways that he rarely does, talking about his regrets after a close friend’s death and detailing his move from Chicago to Los Angeles. Maybe the change of scenery explains the change in musical style since 2011. “Memo” is an excellent single that stands out with its production of odd vocal samples and a swirling synth line (that might just be a warped accordion?). The lyrics are typical radio fare but the production is unique enough that you would NEVER heard it on the radio.
There are a few skits on Banco that are actually funny. One has Mikey feeding his pet dinosaur alongside an understandably frightened friend. The other has a violent street confrontation basically turn into a Pokemon battle, complete with the music from the original Game Boy game. It brings back some of the humor that hasn’t been a huge part of Sir Michael Rocks’ music for a while.
The two self-produced tracks “Playstation 1.5” and “Fuck Seaworld” are easily the highlights of the album. They’re both short, one verse songs that show SMK stretching his creativity as much as he wants to. I love the lyric “You can be the one if you just challenge your perception” at the end of Playstation 1.5, summing up the introspective song. “Fuck Seaworld” is just proof why Sir Michael Rocks is still the coolest kid in the rap game. He deftly switches between bragging about his high class and tastes for expensive things like while referring to his “Akuma prayer beads” (yes, Street Fighter Akuma), admitting to crying when Aerith died in Final Fantasy 7 (while calling out everyone who claimed they didn’t) and caps it all off with perhaps the most scathing diss of his entire career…toward Seaworld and their unethical treatment of animals. It’s a classic.
"Lost Boys" is another gem, bringing together Trinidad James (aka the guy who released All Gold Everything and disappeared) and Mac Miller (aka the guy who has an amazing verse on EVERYONE’S album these days). I only knew Trinidad James from the strange novelty surrounding his one hit, but he brings it here. Mac Miller steals the spotlight, as he is known to do. "Don’t make no mistakes to think I wasn’t livin fast/(Little Richard noises)/That’s Little Richard cash!" Amazing.
The only songs I couldn’t get into were “Kill Switch” and “Ain’t Nothing Like”. Robb Bank$ and Pouya are highlighted in Kill Switch, but their contributions are unmemorable. Ain’t Nothing Like edges on the “too misogynistic to be enjoyable” line for me, along with Too $hort and Chuck Inglish sounding like they just want to leave in their guest verses.
But still, Banco was worth the wait. I’ll admit that I had problems with Sir Michael Rocks gradually changing from Cool Kid to something more generic. But I was proven wrong. This album brings back parts of Sir Michael Rocks’ repertoire that I assumed long dead. The video game and obscure anime references, the humor, even the more atmospheric and chill production from “Lap of Lux” and “The Rocks Report” are here, alongside the gangster rap. They are in harmony instead of being harshly opposed against each other.
And really, that’s what we all need right? You can’t be one thing 100 percent of the time, and it’s ridiculous to expect someone else to be that. Some days I want to listen to NWA, some days I want to put on some Chance The Rapper. People are complex, and getting to know them better is what makes life worth living. Since 2007, I feel like I’ve seen both of The Cool Kids change and evolve, and make better and better music. They wouldn’t have lasted so long if they kept doing the same thing, and I wouldn’t have followed them for so long if they did.
While finding out who you really are, change is inevitable. You can’t be afraid of that. Even if no one else understands it, the people who really matter will stick with you even if you get really weird. Trust me on that one.
Neon Indian- “Change of Coast”
Fun Fact- How can mirrors be real if our eyes aren’t real?
Ginuwine feat. Tim “The Toolman” Taylor- “Pony Time”
Fun Fact- I’ve never watched Home Improvement.
Twin Shadow- “Old Love/New Love”
Genre- New wave
Fun Fact- It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.
So this happened…
This is the first Raw segment (and Raw) I watched when I got back into Wrestling after I stopped watching in 2004.
Nektar- “It’s All in the Mind”
Genre- Progressive rock
Fun Fact- Nectarivores eat nectar produced by flowering plants. Most are insects or birds, but some species of bats and geckos also eat nectar.