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Naledge: Kidz On The Road # 5

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Naledge of Kidz In The Hall checks back in with RH via the 5th installment of his Kidz On The Road Blog. He and Double-O recently wrapped up a European tour with Atmosphere and Brother Ali, and are gearing up for a return trip to the UK as well as the Rock The Bells tour. In the meantime, Naledge lets us know that he’s been taking full advantage of some precious downtime, reports on the Gym Class Heroes altercation with a fan at the St. Louis stop of the Warped Tour, talks crowd control, and sheds some light on new solo and group material. Check it out below…

Warped Tour Report:
I was just at the Warp tour on Wednesday hanging out with Gym Class Heroes. Our boy Tim William is on tour with them playing keys. I saw the whole incident (Travis got arrested in St. Louis). This guy in the crowd kept yelling racial slurs at him, just kept calling him n***er. He kept saying it. Travis stopped the show and was like, ‘bring him up here, bring him up here.’ I think at first he was going to bring him on stage to basically call him out on it and try to turn a negative into a positive. And the dude just kept mouthing off at him and tried to swing on him, so Travis hit the dude with the microphone…It was crazy cause he cracked him pretty good. He broke the microphone on his head. There was a big scuffle then his bodyguard came and tackled the guy. It was a big melee. It was a weird thing, and I was just thinking about how when you perform, you never know who’s in the audience. You normally wouldn’t think that people that don’t like you would come to your show. It’s almost like the dude came to the show to start a problem. It’s just ill to me cause I’ve never had anything like that happen. But I suppose when you reach a certain level of success, that’s the type of stuff that can happen. I had a lot of conversations with people, and was hanging out on their bus after the incident and I just wondered if I would have snapped? You realize you’re in a position, and everybody’s like ‘yeah, well it’s a dumb move to lose your cool,’ but when people use racial slurs and what not, it just shows you the place and time we’re living in. It hasn’t really gone that far. You feel like this is 2008 and stuff like that doesn’t happen, but…It’s definitely a different time, but it’s like the fact that something like that can still happen…If you don’t like somebody, you don’t have to like them, but using racial slurs? If you don’t like a band, why are you at their show? Just don’t go to their show. It’s not even that serious.

I feel like that’s a different level of fame when you’re at the point where people who don’t even like you are paying attention to you. It’s almost amazing. And I was thinking of it in a sense that we’re independent, but we also feel like we’re upwardly mobile and at a certain point we want to reach a certain level of fame, though a lot of times I don’t think we realize some of the things that come attached to it. Just that one incident, you know he’s going to have to come out of pocket. He’s going to get an ill settlement, he had to spend the night in jail, they got suspended from the Vans tour. Corporate sponsors are there and looking at him like, ‘you’re the headliner.’ There’s a lot of consequences and repercussions that come from that. Even before the show they were talking about how great the tour was, and how much they were getting for the tour. They were going to be able to buy houses after this tour…It’s a great place to be in, but one incident…you know what I mean, can not take everything away, but it’s a big deal for them. And they got a new album that this tour was going to be promoting. It’s just ill. I came to just hang out and have fun and it ended up being one of the most dramatic incidents I’ve seen in a live performance. I’ve never seen Travis that angry either. I didn’t expect it. I thought he was just going to shake up with the kid and kind of play him. I thought he was going to use the crowd to his advantage, get the crowd to boo him, ‘how many of you think we should kick him out of the show?’ that type of thing…It’s just ill to think about that cause I don’t know what I would do in that situation. Somebody was yelling through every song from the start of the set to whenever he decided to stop the music and address it. It’s just kind of an ill thing.

Crowd Control:
We’ve seen a lot of people perform and opened for a lot of people. I think most times you do take away some things from each person without even knowing. You hang around them so much that you start soaking up some of their things. We’re getting to a point where a lot of these people that we open for are soaking up a lot of what we do because we have a lot of energy on stage. Atmosphere has kind of a unique thing, and they normally use a band, so the way they operate is a little bit different. Honestly, the illest thing about Brother Ali and Slug is voice control. Their voice sounds exactly like the CD. I haven’t been around too many emcees who’s voice really carries like that, without trying. I’ve been around a lot of cats that either scream, so you don’t even know what they’re saying, but if you know their records you know their records…Then there’s other people who you can tell are straining, or you might not be able to hear them. Brother Ali’s and Slug’s voices just boom, and they definitely know crowd control. But we’ve seen a lot of other people, everybody has their own way of crowd control.

El-P makes jokes to bring the crowd in. He’s almost as much a standup comedian as much as he is a rapper. When his songs come on he turns into a rock star. He’s jumping around everywhere. He turns into a monster almost. He dances and does his thing. Gym Class, watching them, Travis is very smooth with what he does. He dances but it’s more like real dance steps, and he uses the mic stand, which is more of a rocker move. And Redman is just…that motherf**ker just jumps all over the place. That guy is crazy. But he has good voice control too. I have to give that to him. His voice carries really well too. It’s funny cause you see these dudes smoke weed all day and live this life, but there’s wasn’t one day when I didn’t see Redman not drinking tea and exercising his voice, and doing the necessary things it takes to sound good. He’s even yelling at the soundman just to make sure everything is right.

New Music, New Albums, and New Faces:
I actually got in the studio for the first time in a while! I’m working on freestyle stuff, doing mixtape stuff and working on the album. I’m looking to work with Pete Rock really soon. I’m really looking forward to getting something from Hi-Tek too. I think that could round out the album. I think it’s really close, and we’ve been talking to some people about putting it out. I think everything’s in a good position right now. We’re actually putting out a remix album on itunes. We’re going to have the joints that are already on there, but we’re adding some features, and we’re adding some songs. People who get the album on itunes after all the remixes come out, and some newer records, they’re going to have a special treat cause it’s going to basically be a different album. It’s a reissue with four or five new songs. The In Crowd is on sale at Best Buy for $7.99. If you read the newspaper, and you know how all the ads fall out for Best Buy and the grocery store, Target etc. and you look in the music section and my CD’s there, that’s a crazy thing to me. It might not mean a lot to other people, but for me that means a lot. For me to say, ‘my record is $7.99, go get it. I know I’m not hurting your pockets, go get the album.’ That’s cheaper than itunes. I know people that read the blog are from Chicago…support! The more local artists get on and be where they need to be, we can run this and we can start an industry in the city to where I don’t even have to think about all this traveling I do, to NY, LA, and Atlanta.

Also this is Independent Music week on MTV. All week they’re airing those Cornel West spots, and they also have these dope, dope spots from the Paid Dues Festival that will be spliced in between shows. My face, and Double-O’s face will probably be on a lot of commercials this week. And it’s just a dope thing. Independent Music in general, they chose this week obviously because of Independence Day, and they’re playing a lot of dope independent artists and giving shine to Chicago independent artists too. I know Mick Luter’s video is going to be debut this week. That’s a good look for him. He’s a dope emcee and has been grinding forever. Our video is going to play, Kid Sister, I know the Cool Kids are going to be spotlighted as well. It’s just good to see a new Chicago as Mano likes to say. It’s a new era, a new day, and light is being shone on that.

Back On The Road
We have a show in Rhode Island, so I’m going to do that. It’s basically Boston, but it’s in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in between Boston and Providence. I’ve never been there, so we’ll see what goes on. It should be a decent show. We’re the headliners and it’s been promoted for a while. From what I hear they’ve been playing the record in that market on the radio. It’s a good look. Every show is usually good, so we’ll see what happens with this show. From there we go to Europe again, we’re doing the UK again. We’re actually performing at Yo Yo’s, which is Mark Ronson, Aaron LaCrate, and Lilly Allen’s spot… We’ve been to the UK 8 times in two years, more than that, it might be 10 now. Going to London is almost like going to New York at this point. It doesn’t feel like you’re that far away from everything. Everything is just way more expensive, that’s about the only difference. When you get outside of London, then you start noticing you’re in a foreign place. I wouldn’t be surprised if they gave London an NBA team. For real, I really wouldn’t be.

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