“penny for my thoughts, it might get expensive.”
Anyone who followed rubyhornet back in day knows the crucial role that Naledge and Kidz In The Hall played in contributing to the site. He took part in so many of our early parties at Lava Lounge, starred in several video series, and held down many a Closed Sessions recordings.
I grew up playing baseball with Naledge (shout out WHPK Little League), and when he formed Kidz In The Hall and then signed to Rawkus Records, he instantly became a neighborhood legend. The duo behind classics like “Drivin’ Down The Block” and “Chi State of Mind” also played a very important role in the growth of the Chicago Hip Hop scene. While Kanye, Common, Twista, and Lupe were grabbing headlines and making a killing, it was a grassroots affair for KITH and peers like The Cool Kids, and Treated Crew, who not only regularly supplied blogs like this one and Fakeshoredrive with exclusives that we could then share with the larger blog community, but they also regularly attended our functions and helped spot other emerging talents.
No joke, it was through Naledge that I first met Vic Mensa, Big Homie DOE (who now manages King L), Chip Tha Ripper, Vic Spencer, and Nez & Rio, who also all claimed membership in Naledge’s Brainiac Society at one time or another. It was also through Naledge and working on the ZShare era classic Welcome To Brainiac Society Part 1 that I met Michael Kolar, started getting those free hours at SoundScape, and well, the rest is history.
Kidz In The Hall kind of came out in a weird era. The old label model and physical distribution strategy was still on its last legs, while the blog/digital era was still finding its own two feet to stand on. Spotify, TIDAL, and Apple Music were a long way off. So while they got a shit ton of streams via sendspace, zshare, megaupload and all that, there really was no way to properly gauge the impact or count everything up. I mean, this is a group that was around early enough to actually have a TRL video alongside the likes of Britney Spears and see the first posts on Nahright and 2Dopeboyz.
The duo had solid success, releasing several studio albums and LP’s before taking a break in or around 2012, just when the Chicago scene was bearing serious fruit. But, much like their peers in The Cool Kids, Kidz In The Hall are back with a new LP, Free Nights and Weekends, which will hit the streets on December 8th.
Judging by the album’s first video, “Dear Eastside”, it just might be some of their best material yet. The song is vintage KITH, with kind of a back to basics vibe and style. It’s what the diehard-est of the diehard fans want from Naledge and Double O without coming off as stale or chasing a style they once had. The video harkens back to Golden Era clips, and maybe it’s because we watched a De La Soul documentary today in my Business of Music class, but damn this reminds me of some “Stakes Is High” type shit.
Peep the video above, and you can pre-order the full album here. The song is available for free when you sign-up for the KITH mailing list.