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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.

Really?

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Nas Says 'Illmatic's Legacy Has “Started To Take On A Life Of Its Own"

Nas’ discography of studio albums has reached double-digits since the release of Nasir in 2018 but given this span, his fans and hip-hop aficionados continue to herald the impact of his debut album Illmatic. Celebrating 25 years this year, the “Cherry Wine” rapper raised a glass in commemoration of this milestone by previously hosting a Symphony Orchestra performance and receiving accolades along the way.

However, during an interview with Haute Living, the Queens native said although he’s grateful for the love of his platinum-selling project, “it has started to take on a life of its own.” The 46-year-old continued to state his claim by noting that the rest of his discography is worthy of recognition and that this year has been a good run for Illmatic.

"Twenty-five years is a lifetime. So I did another Symphony Orchestra show for Illmatic this year; I got another plaque for it. I’m very grateful—it’s so crazy—but to celebrate one album when I’ve made over 10, all the things I’ve worked on—and I’ve been working for so long—to celebrate one album over all else is corny to me," he said. "I don’t want to celebrate another Illmatic anything. I’m done. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for appreciating that record, but it’s over.”

While music will always remain a passion—Nas mentioned a third and fourth installment of his The Lost Tapes series—the entertainer might take his talents to other areas of creativity and entrepreneurship. “Maybe [I’ll open] a new level bookstore, maybe [I’ll do] Broadway,” he said. “I do three things at a time; that’s how I live. The next three things I do, I hope they’re more exciting than anything that I’ve ever done.”

Illmatic remains one of music's most vivid and poetic albums, hosting quintessential East Coast rap melodies from DJ Premier, Large Professor, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, Faith N., and L.E.S. The sole feature goes to fellow The Firm member AZ.

In an interview with Red Bull, Nas discussed the real-life situations Illmatic hosts within its tracks which aids in its truth of standing the test of time. "There’s a lot of historical value in there. Back then there was a killing of a guy named [Jose “Kiko”] Garcia in Washington Heights by the police that I mention in my lyrics. I talk about the Supreme Team, a drug gang in Queens, and their leader named Supreme, who is now locked up," he said. "I talk about Ron G who was a Harlem mixtape DJ who was really popular at the time. It was kind of the first time you’d hear street conversation by someone who knew these guys personally at the time."

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Halle Berry Is #TeamZoeKravitz As Catwoman For Upcoming 'Batman' Film

Earlier this month, it was announced that actress/musician Zoe Kravitz would step into the sleuthing role of Catwoman for Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Joining in on the chorus of people that are elated to see Kravitz in this role is fellow Catwoman Halle Berry.

The Oscar Award-winning actress took to Twitter to congratulate Kravitz on her new job, writing “Keep shining queen and welcome to the family!” Kravitz will star opposite Twilight’s Robert Pattinson who’ll play the Dark Knight.

Special shout-out to your new #CatWoman, the eternally graceful & extremely bad ass @ZoeKravitz. Keep shining Queen & welcome to the family! ♥️✨ pic.twitter.com/9YJ2EekcNG

— Halle Berry (@halleberry) October 17, 2019

In 2004, Berry starred as Catwoman in the film of the same name. Directed by Pitof, the movie also starred Alex Borstein, Benjamin Bratt, Frances Conroy, and Sharon Stone. Although the movie wasn't a box office success, Berry said it opened up a world of opportunities in Hollywood.

"Everybody around me said, 'Girl, don't do it. It's going to be the death of you. It's going to end your career.' But guess what I did? I followed my intuition and I did a movie called Catwoman and it bombed miserably," Berry said at 2004's Matrix Awards, per Glamour. "While it failed to most people, it wasn't a failure for me because I met so many interesting people that I wouldn't have met otherwise, I learned two forms of martial arts and I learned not what to do."

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Issa Rae Launches Her Own Record Label

Issa Rae has a lot of projects in the works, and she’s making room for another big venture. On Thursday (Oct. 18), the Insecure star announced the launch of her new record label, Raedio, along with introducing the world to TeaMarr, the imprint’s first artist.

“Beyond excited to present the first amazingly talented artist from my new label RAEDIO,” the Emmy winner captioned a clip of TeaMarrr’s music video where she makes a cameo.

 

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Beyond excited to present the first amazingly talented artist from my new label RAEDIO, TeaMarrr (@imaliltcup)! Check out her song and video, "Kinda Love" on all streaming platforms now! (@theraedio)

A post shared by Issa Rae (@issarae) on Oct 18, 2019 at 8:06am PDT

The record label is a partnership with Atlantic Records, according to Variety. Rae’s label will also be responsible for supervising the music on A Black Lady Sketch Show, which she executive produces.

“Music has always been an essential part of every project I do and working with emerging talent is a personal passion,” Rae said in a statement. “Raedio allows me to continue that work within the music industry and audio entertainment space. The Atlantic team are innovators in terms of shifting and shaping culture. I’m excited to join forces with them to discover new artists.”

Raedio is technically her first foray into the recording industry, but music has always been a “central character” in Insecure, Atlantic Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald noted.

“Issa Rae is a next-level, future-thinking creative force who’s been breaking down cultural barriers and conquering one field after another,” said Greenwald. “She’s made music a central character in her artistic evolution, and now she’s brought all that amazing passion, inspiration, and taste to the formation of Raedio. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Issa and her team on this exciting new venture, and TeaMarrr is the perfect artist to launch with.”

Wath TeaMarrr's  “Kinda Love” music video below.

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