I’m sure you’ve heard of ’em by now: two hipster rappers out of Chicago called the Cool Kids, riding an 80’s nostalgia MySpace tide with their Black Mags track. Propelled by the no-really-it’s-still-ironic rope chains and mid-eighties douchewear gimmick, the duo have become the darlings of the white hipster scene. But when a group calls themselves the “black Beastie Boys,” the red flag is visible from outer space.
So, does The Bake Sale live up to the hype? No. It’s the unit’s first release, but that hardly excuses the ungodly fucking annoyance of it all. Minimal, bass-throbbing backing tracks only provide the stage for the Kids to show their cool, and in places it’s got some real potential. There’s some promise to the rhymes, and they’ve clearly got an ear for what’s catchy, but the flow is still too green to really have any teeth. What’s worse is that the slow-and-low vocal effects in many of the hooks and choruses are uninspired and repetitive enough to make you scream.
I (Mikey) Rock and Black Mags assault my ears with the same low-fi southern rap shit that won Paul Wall his fifteen agonizing minutes a while back, but a new low is hit with Gold And A Pager, which just gets worse and worse as it goes on. Is this supposed to be ironic? Like that white guy who covered Ice Cube with an acoustic guitar? Cause it’s fucking annoying, just like a lowest-common-denominator LL Cool J impression (Jingling).
88, on the other hand, hits hard and stays strong, with a chorus lifted right out of Nas’ Made You Look. It’s one of the best tracks on the record, but the momentum goes right out the window with the limp follow-up track What It Iz– the high BPM action hosts an early nineties vibe that goes nowhere, with a repetitive chorus that makes me wonder what the fuck I’m doing reviewing this album in the first place. There’s much better hip-hop out there to get excited about.
Furthermore, somebody needs to call the cops on Bassment Party. Seriously, there’s no need to dig up that old 2 Live Crew sound. It’s one of those things we celebrated distancing ourselves from when the century turned, like Chumbawumba and Co-ed Naked t-shirts.
There’s real potential in a couple of the bonus tracks like Gettin’ It and That’ll Work, but it still just sounds mostly derivative. Kanye, Lupe and many others have done it better, and without lame shit like Flossin’ to account for.
Overall, this record is irritating as hell. It’s an overreaching attempt to be cool and ironic and appealing to all the white kids trying to get a jump on the next big thing. They try too hard and ultimately fail in their mission to conjure Erik B. & Rakim. It’s just too contrived and gimmicky to have any lasting power. Pass this shit on the left hand side and go listen to the new Raashan Ahmad or Giant Panda.
Reviews published prior to February 23, 2015 used a 1-5 star rating system.