Review Summary: The Cool Kids are not only full of themselves, they are also full of clever/funny rhymes and 80's throwback beats!
The dudes that make up Cool Kids, Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish, are pretty full of themselves. It’s not something that exactly needs to be pointed out in the first few lines of this review, considering the two have already dubbed themselves The Cool Kids, but it’s still worth pointing out all the same. After all, Cool Kids’ egos drive the majority of the songs on their 2008 “EP” (it’s 10 tracks long) The Bake Sale
. Choruses are dedicated to the repetition of things like “I’m Mikey, I rock” and verses consist of dissing those who shop at the mall (Cool Kids only shop at boutiques, obviously). But Cool Kids’ egotism doesn’t really recall fellow Chicagoan Kanye West, though some of their rhymes might. For one thing, it’s apparent that Rocks and Inglish don’t exactly take themselves seriously. Throughout Bake Sale, the two reference Fruity Pebbles and TV dinners, make beats solely out of the words “tick”, “bass” and “clap”, and invite anyone with two dollars to attend their basement party. The actual song Basement Party
begins with a Fergie reference (“They say if you ain't got no money take yo broke ass home/I say if you got you two dollars, then come through to my party”) and progresses into a solid, fun 80’s Hip-Hop-influenced jam, much like the rest of the EP.
Again unlike West, Chuck Inglish, the Cool Kid who produces, crafts songs solely out of minimal drum machine beats and basement synth tones, similar to his classic 80’s idols. There’s certainly nothing high budget about a song like Black Mags
, which went on to become a big hit in the Indie community. The song, written entirely about cruising around the city on a BMX bike, is a truly great single and one of the EP’s best. With its thumping bass and focused yet clever rapping , the song is seemingly perfect for both MTV’s TRL (catchy and fun) and The Cool Kids’ aforementioned $2 basement party (real-sounding and respectable). Like Black Mags, almost every song on Bake Sale is centered around a beat that could have been produced in 10 minutes by a 16-year old kid in his bedroom. This gives the EP a Retro/Twee vibe, which is only enhanced by the Kids’ kiddy references and style. Though this throwback fashion isn’t exactly original, on Bake Sale it’s still refreshing and entertaining. In the end, that latter adjective is what makes Bake Sale great: it’s undeniably fun. The distorted boom-bap of the egotistical anthem Mikey Rocks
, the witty anti-gangster taunts of A Little Bit Cooler
and pretty much everything else on the album, makes for a fun, but still quality, Hip-Hop record. Couple that atmosphere with the fact that the album is short and compact, and you’ve got one good party record, not that the majority of Cool Kids’ nerdy, Pitchfork-reading listeners, myself included, will be doing much partying to Bake Sale. Whatever.