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The Cool Kids Open Up On New LP 'When Fish Ride Bicycles,' "Our Life Depends On This Record"

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.


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Amber Guyger Appeals Murder Conviction In Botham Jean Case

Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger has appealed her murder conviction this week in an effort to receive a shorter sentence, the Star-Telegram reported on Friday (Aug. 7). Guyger is currently serving a 10-year-sentence for fatally shooting Botham Jean inside his apartment in 2018.

Attorneys for Guyger claim that there was insufficient evidence to warrant a conviction. The legal documents reportedly want the murder conviction tossed, or changed to criminally negligent homicide.

“I feel like she received a slap on the wrist for taking my brother’s life,” Botham Jean’s sister Allis Findley. “This tells me that she feels like she didn’t do anything wrong. She did not step on my brother’s toe. She took his life.”

Guyger was found guilty on Oct. 1. She maintains that she entered Jean’s apartment believing that it was her own. Guyger testified that she shot Jean believing that he was an intruder.

“She should have received life, so she should take her 10 years in prison and shut up,” added Findley. “If the court was to do this it would prove that, yes, there is systematic racism and white privilege does prevail over Black life. I’m hoping this appeal gets thrown out and her conviction holds. I’m hoping they overturn the 10 years and give her life instead.”

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Oprah Winfrey Puts Up 26 Billboards Demanding Justice For Breonna Taylor

Oprah Winfrey and the team at O, The Oprah Magazine, erected 26 billboards demanding the arrest of the cops who killed Breonna Taylor. The billboards went up all around Louisville, Kentucky, on Thursday (Aug. 6).

“Demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested an charged,” the billboards reads. The billboard encourages people to visit UntilFreedom.com (the organization co-founded by Tamika D. Mallory, Mysonne Linen, Angela Pintom and Linda Sarsoir) and includes a quote from Oprah, “If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it.”

🚨Billboard Alert🚨

26 billboards - for every year of life of #BreonnaTaylor erected in Louisville, KY.

Kentucky will not forget her name. We will get justice for Breonna. pic.twitter.com/rOM2bhVdAy

— untilfreedom (@untilfreedom) August 6, 2020

A drawing of Taylor also covers the Sept. 2020 edition of O Magazine, marking the first time that Winfrey wasn’t the publication’s covergirl. Winfrey decided to use the magazine’s 20th anniversary cover to amplify Taylor’s story.

On March 13, Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot to death by former and current Louisville police officers Jonathon Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove. None of them have been charged in her murder.

“She was just like me. She was just like you,” Winfrey wrote on Instagram. “And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. I think about Breonna Taylor often.

“The September issue honors her life and the life of every other Black woman whose life has been taken too soon.”

See the cover below.


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Breonna Taylor. She was just like me. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. I think about Breonna Taylor often. Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of @oprahmagazine. The September issue honors her life and the life of every other Black woman whose life has been taken too soon. Head to OprahMag.com for more—and thank you to @alexis_art, a 24-year-old digital artist, who captured the essence of Breonna. The issue will be available wherever you buy or download magazines on 8/11.

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on Jul 30, 2020 at 5:32am PDT

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Watch The Moment T.I. Learns He’s Going To Be A Grandfather

Congratulations are in order for T.I.’s stepdaughter, Zonnique. The singer is expecting her first child with boyfriend and rapper, Bandhunta Izzy (a.k.a Isreal James).

Zonnique, who will be welcoming a daughter with Izzy, surprised Tip with the baby news during an episode of her Fox Soul show The Mix on Wednesday (Aug. 6).

Needless to say, Tip was shocked. So much so, that it took him a minute to actually process the announcement, even after his wife, Tiny, confirmed that they weren’t pranking him.

Zonnique broke the pregnancy news to PEOPLE earlier in the week, and opened up about the drawbacks of being pregnant during a pandemic.  “It really sucks being pregnant during the coronavirus,” she admitted. “At first, I'm like, 'This is the perfect time, like everybody is locked in. I don't have to worry about going out. So if I want to hide it for however long, I can hide.'

“But when it comes to going to doctor's appointments, I go to all of them by myself. I ask every single time, 'Can I bring my boyfriend?' And they're like, 'No, only you can come.' That's been the worst part," she added.

“I'm hoping by the time I'm ready to have the baby it will be over with. But I'm sure it won't be, so I'll be in there with one person, most likely. I'm just trying not to get my hopes too high anymore.”

Peep the video below to see Tip's hilarious reaction to learning that he's going to be a grandfather.

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