Chicago rap duo The Cool Kids first emerged almost a decade ago with “Black Mags,” a masterclass in bass-heavy minimalism and indie-kid swagger. The 2008 single fit perfectly alongside sonic contemporaries like The Pack’s “Vans” and The Clipse’s “Mr. Me Too,” despite coming from guys who were decidedly outside of the mainstream rap conversation at the time. Debut album The Bake Sale soon followed, on which Sir Michael Rocks and Chuck Inglish further proved their unique intentions, such as “Bringing ‘88 back” and using Star Wars belts as proof of being “Cooler than that guy.”
Last year, the dudes reunited after a lengthy hiatus (their last release was 2011’s When Fish Ride Bicycles) during which they both pursued solo careers. Back in 2015, Mikey said that there was no possibility of new Cool Kids music in the future, but thank god he changed his mind, because today him and Chuck have proven that they’re definitely still worth having around in 2017.
New track “Checkout” follows “Running Man,” “Connect Four,” and “TV Dinner” in the group’s post-reunion spree of tracks, and it might be the best one yet. As was the case with much of Cool Kids’ material in their heyday, the song engages with more mainstream rap trends (this time it’s all of the L.A. ratchet that’s popped up in DJ Mustard’s wake) while Chuck and Mikey simultaneously steer things off into left field. Nowhere else in rap will you hear guys boasting about gluten-free weed over hi-hats this clean.
The long-awaited follow-up to When Fish Ride Bicycles, entitled Special Edition Grand Master Deluxe, is supposedly due later this year, though there are no hard details yet. Until we get more info, at least relish the fact that Chuck and Mikey have given us a very solid batch of four new tracks.