When Fish Ride Bicycles, Cool Kids
Kanye might not have been the first guy to focus on the life he knew in his raps, but he made it popular. College Dropout was at once aspirational and realistic—he wanted all the riches but knew that escaping Chicago was the first big hurdle.
Midwestern peers Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish took that attitude, laid some bone-rattling drums on top of it, and began to format their own definition of cool through their music. They never bragged about things they didn't have, but instead focused on the nicer things in life as a way of channeling their hopes and dreams through art. The result was one of the biggest (blog) acts of the 2000's, and while they didn't quite achieve the success that many had pegged them destined for, they did continue the legacy of College Dropout—clever, down-to-earth rhymes with undeniable production.