Chi-town rap duo Mikey Rocks and Chuck English have come a long way since their break-through music video “Black Mags” caught fire in 2007. After a number of mixtape and EP releases, The Cool Kids put out their debut album this past Tuesday, through Green Label Sound.
The project dubbed When Fish Ride Bicycles may be their most important work to date. But don’t take our word for it. VIBE caught up with the guys a few days before their album dropped for some pre-Fish insight. –Keenan Higgins
VIBE: So just to get into things, it’s been a year since you guys did TackleBox. Was the wait intentional or were you guys recording this album the whole time?
Mikey Rocks:Man, we actually had the songs for this album done around that time—most of them, for the most part. We just had to work out everything to get ready to put this one out. It wasn’t really that long because we put a bunch of songs on the Tacklebox, but we had to work out the situation of how we gonna put out this album and everything. That was the meantime in between there.
Chuck Inglish: Yeah our hiatus was not intentional. We had a legal situation with our label that we’re still kinda going through. We just want enough space to go out and try and make our own situation happen. So that was pretty much the past 3 years of our life, trying to beat the system a little bit. Tacklebox was like—I wish When Fish Ride Bicycles was coming out then, but it just didn’t work. So we put out a mixtape of songs we kinda threw together around that time and some joints that we figured, if it don’t come out now it ain’t even gonna make sense. So that’s what we did.
Where did the title come from?
CI: The album title came from us watching The Fresh Prince. We was just sitting around and we like funny shit! It was funny. Uncle Phil told Hilary she could do something when fish ride bicycles. It was that simple. At that time, we thought it was a joke. But it honestly took shape because now it kind of has meaning. You got something that’s pretty much impossible. We’re not the norm, we don’t got a machine. Def Jam ain’t paying for this, Atlantic ain’t paying for this, Warner ain’t paying for this, and Sony ain’t paying for this. To us, that shit is cheap. Yall get what yall got because somebody got a big ass check book. We get what we got because we’re smart and we know when to pop in and pop out. We playing this game like we’re the shorter fighter. We reach, but every time we hit we gotta hit your ass in the nose so you remember that shit. We don’t got no jabs. We don’t have those luxuries. We have to make every single move that we make count.
Oh alright. Well, you have mad mixtapes under your belt. With the new studio album, is it different? Creatively, is it different or is it just the same ole, same ole?
CI: We came up with this earlier: this is like—our life depends on this record.