What does it mean to be successful in rap: a slew of classics, multi-platinum sales, the adoration of fans worldwide or perhaps a mixture of each?
At any rate Kidz in The Hall have flirted with it sense they dropped. No, they haven’t even gone gold yet. But Naledge and Double O got a following and landed some key endorsements and cosigns along the way.
It all started off with School Was My Hustle back in 06 when the group was on Rawkus Records. Most of the hype behind this joint could be found online. Their single “Wheelz Fall Off” garnered a video and some spins on MTV’s alternative networks (MTV 2, MTVU etc.) The album definitely sounded like schoolboy rap. That went along with the group’s marketing team pushing them as UPenn grads from Southside Chicago on some “The Rose That Grew From Concrete” type shit. As a whole the album isn’t bad but they’ve made better songs since then.
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(Fun Fact: It’s funny that I’m running this back now (even though Imeem doesn’t have the whole album.) Peep the beat on Don’t Stop. Sound familiar? KiTH was under the mentorship of Just Blaze at the time. Then Just used that same loop for Jay-Z’s “Show Me What You Got” for Kingdom Come. I’m sure there was no bad blood since JB made a fake making of vid with Double O working on the beat. Then JB pulled some Jedi Mind Trick with a fake light saber and jacked his beat. It’s been taken down for a minute but if anyone has it please post it in the comments.)
In my opinion the group started hitting their stride in ‘late 07, starting with the Obama Campaign anthem “Work To Do.” It’s funny because I think I only heard the song once after one of his speeches. Anyway, getting free publicity by the future president is always a good look.
Then Mick Boogie’s x KiTH’s “Detention” tape dropped. I remember giving it a shot then keeping it rotation on the iPod for a minute. After that Geniuses Need Love Too dropped on Valentines Day ’08. I remember this day clearly because I saw it on Nahright at work when I interned for MTV. Then I downloaded it as soon as I got back to the apartment. That got burn until “The In Crowd” was looming.
At that moment I thought the group had a lot of momentum for a underground act. The video for “Driving Down The Block” even got daytime spins on the real MTV: I remember seeing it all the time as I made runs in the building. On top of that the blog support was picking up. They were nowhere to be found on Hot97 outside of Rosenberg’s show but that’s nothing new. I figured they could make some major moves by the end of the year if they kept it up.
The In Crowd finally dropped in May ’08 and didn’t make huge waves. It’s disappointing because it’s much better than their previous effort. They still had the internet crowd since the album was feature heavy. The E Heroes of rap were in abundance; everyone from Pusha T to Buckshot dropped verses. That, along with better beats by Double O wasn’t enough for them to make the next big step.
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The group dropped their next single in “Love Hangover” with an accompanying video. Then they wrapped up the year with some endorsements and Naledge dropped some loosies on the blogs. Then I didn’t hear much from the KiTH save for Naledge’s appearance on the Fake Shore Drive tape.
Then Flickin’, the duo’s first single for The Land of Make Believe, dropped earlier this week. I made note of it in my gmail and decided to give it a look on the itunes. At first the track sounds like some 80’s Synth Pop or something. TC said they channeled their 8 bit Nintendo on this one and that sounds about right. Then Naledge began to OD with the Autotune on the hook. I could’ve done without that but Naledge’s flow saves the track from being irritating. Their album comes out October 13th and if this track is any indication it looks like their straying away from the sound they honed on The In Crowd. You can get the track here and support it on Itunes.
I’m not gonna call it just yet. KiTH is dropping in a crowded fall with anticipated debuts from Wale and KiD CuDi along with Jay’s Blueprint 3. Flickin’ sounds more mainstream but it didn’t hit my like Drivin’ Down the Block. I’m sure they’ll leak better songs in the coming months until The Land Of Make Believe hits stores. Let’s hope third time’s the charm on this one.