Two the Hard-a-way: 1 on 1 with The Cool Kids

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Back in 2007, Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rocks came onto the scene rocking tank tops and snapbacks, rapping about bike tires and vintage kicks. While their impact on the culture is certainly visible, a commercial release has not been. After a series of label woes and push backs, The Cool Kids are back on top with their debut album When Fish Ride Bicycles. Rather than trap themselves in creative purgatory, Chuck and Mikey reignited and expanded their core sound for a release that?s bigger and deffer than any of their previous mixtapes or EPs. We caught up with the duo to discuss the album, their recording process, and of course Penny Hardaway.

What tracks on the new album stand out as your favorites?

Chuck Inglish: ?Boomin?, the single ?Swimsuits? and all the stuff that I?ve never really done before. The intro is my jam, but I could do that one in my sleep. ?Swimsuits? and ?Boomin? were a test to my musicianship. I had to do a little bit more than I usually do for those songs. Those two songs are near and dear to my heart.

Sir Michael Rocks: I like the intro and ?Penny Hardaway? with Ghostface a lot too.

Was Penny always the man for the chorus or were other players considered?

Mikey: When I was writing the chorus I was thinking of hoopers who were cold but didn?t the get the Hall of Fame shine like that, didn?t get legendary shine like that, so of course Penny crossed my mind. He was sweet when he was on the Magic and he had cold shoes. He was doing his thing. He?s one of the coldest ballplayers players that ain?t still around these days so I decided to pay a little homage to him.

Do you guys have a favorite Penny shoe?

Chuck: The first, first, first one. The Nike Air Up 94 Black/Royal.

Nike Air Up 94 "Penny Hardaway"

The album has some strong features. Who were your favorite artists to work with?

Mikey: I wouldn?t single anybody out like that. That whole album was like a three-year camping trip. But to have Ghostface on my record, being a new rapper and still young…we were the babies of (that) generation, on Wu Tang like the kids are on us now. To have them extend the olive branch and be like ?y?all good?, that?s crazy.

Chuck: That?s not like getting a feature from somebody that always does features. You don?t get too many Ghostface features.

I?m sure you guys had records you had to sit on for a while. How?s that feeling as an artist?

Chuck: This situation was a little different because we were in a legal bind for almost three years. Just sitting back and putting stuff together and figuring out which songs were good enough to keep. We ended up letting go probably all of the songs up until the ones we made this year. We made mixtapes out of a lot of the first editions of that record. The thing about this round, not to toot our horn, but we were way too good at this point. The last couple songs we recorded made the record and all the other stuff progressively became non-factors. We?re not trying to put records out just to put ?em out. We?re tyring to really kick a hole and sh*t. Every song that we picked were just monsters, and we got in a habit of just making monsters.

When Fish Ride Bicycles

What should fans expect from the album?

Mikey: I don?t think they know. Like, shock, awe for a couple of days.

Chuck: That?s kinda what I want them to take, like ?what was that? What the f*ck??

Mikey: Recognize that we’re gonna be doing this as long as we want to. It?s gonna keep getting better and better. It?s new stuff to y?all but we?re already on (album) two and three right now. This ain?t just a paycheck for us, I couldn?t stop doing this if I wanted to.

Pick up When Fish Ride Bicycles today on iTunes.

Photography of The Cool Kids courtesy of Clayton Hauck

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