Author Topic: Kidz In The Hall - School Was My Hustle  (Read 289 times)

Lord Funk

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Kidz In The Hall - School Was My Hustle
« on: January 30, 2007, 01:00:09 PM »
Wait, a rapper from Chicago recording a quasi-concept album about the education system? Sounds familiar. Maybe there
should be a sub-genre of hip-hop for this shit.

I know very little about these guys, but I downloaded the album recently and thought I'd give it a whirl. As far as I'm
aware, they're (the only act?) on Rawkus and the rapper is called Knowledge. But I think he spells it Naladge. Which is
pretty gay. The DJ might be called Double O, judging from some of the references.

1. "Hustler's Intro"
Ridiculously dramatic strings on this considering all they're talking about is going to school. From what I gather, "school"
on this album is what we in the UK call "university". N/A

2. "Ritalin"
No idea what Ritalin means, but this two-minute track is pretty great. The beat knocks with an almost Dipset swagger,
and this Naladge guy fucking tears it up. He can seriously rap. 3.5/5

3. "Wassup Jo"
I'm feeling this beat in a Blueprint, looped-soul sorta way, plus the rhythm guitar gives it a cool, West Coast-friendly
sound. I particularly like the way Double O (hope that's right) changes the samples up during the second half of each
verse. The hook's tight. I can see this being a kind of Kidz In The Hall anthem. 3.5/5

4. "Wheelz Fall Off (06 Til...)"
You've got to have pretty big balls to use this sample, because it's almost inevitable that your song will be sub-par in
comparison with Souls of Mischief's "93 Til Infinity". Amazingly, these guys do the break credit, plus add some strings to
switch it up. It's not as good as the OG, but it's far, far better than it really has any right to be. And, again, this Naladge
chap can flow like a mofo. 4/5

5. "Ms Juanita"
I think this might be a semi-cover of Tribe's "Bonita Applebum", but I don't know that song too well, so I wouldn't like to
put money on it. Either way, it's shit. The beat is badly put together and the "story telling", such as it is, is dull. No thanks.
2/5

6. "Cruise Control"
Again, I'm not feeling the production on this. It sounds a bit like some mix tape shit, plus the rapper sounds like he's
struggling to keep up with the tempo. It's a skipper, I'm afraid. 2.5/5

7. "Go Ill"
I'm a sucka for these kind of day-in-the-life-in-the-hood songs, and this is perfect. The beat is on some breezy,
flute-filled, Blaxploitation shit and the lyrics just flow along so sweet. Thank fuck there are still people making hip-hop like
this. 5/5

8. "Dumbass Tales"
Yes, it's their take on Too Short's "Freaky Tales", only it's shit. Just not doing it for me, beat-wise or story-wise. 2/5

9. "Don't Stop"
Ras Kass already used this sample on a dope, dope track. Jay-Z has turned it into a pretty nice club banger too. These
guys aren't offering anything new, plus the use of the sample itself sounds a bit muddy to me. Unimpressive. 3/5

10. "Move On Up"
The sample here is nice, and the hook is a killer. But there's something missing, to the point that I can't concentrate
enough to work out the topic of the song. 3.5/5

11. "Hypocrite"
I can imagine Kanye recording something like this. The beat is really nice and Naladge explores different levels of
hypocrisy pretty well. The guy knows how to stick to a topic, gotta give him that. Again, the producer (is it all this Double
O fella?) is really good at switching up beats - all the best tracks here shy away from straight loops to chop shit up as
well. 4/5

12. "Day By Day"
This beat's a bit experimental for me. The rhymes are intelligent enough, but I can't get with that sitar vibe. No can do. 3/5

13. "School Was Always A Grind"
Pointless skit. N/A

14. "Almost Lost (This Time)"
I think the sample is Gil Scott Heron, but I'm not sure. The beat has that Kanye-style, keep-the-vocal-sample-running-behind-the-verse thing going on. The looping and mixing sounds off, which means I'm not really tuning in for the rhymes much. Sorry. 3/5

OVERALL: 3/5 There are some great tracks here ("Go Ill", "Wheelz Fall Off") and some skidmarks ("Ms Juanita", "Dumbass Tales"). The rest is in between. The guy can rap for days, but when things go downhill here it's normally because of lacklustre beats. Could do better :P
"I fornicate with porn stars, sluts and strippers.
 Well - only on the Internet but what's the difference?"

 - Mad Child from Swollen Members, 'Adrenaline'
 

everlast1986

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Re: Kidz In The Hall - School Was My Hustle
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2007, 01:34:30 PM »
Hmm.. I agree with tracks 3,4 a little bit, and 11 a little bit. The rest is a bit off IMO. I think "Ms Juanita" is one of the best and addicting songs on the album which i see becoming a single. I didn't hear any similarities to "Bonita Applebum" except for Juanita rhyming with Bonita. "Dumbass Tales" and "Cruise Control" were also great additions to the album. Also "Don't Stop" was made before "Show Me What You Got" was made and I like "Don't Stop" because it doesn't sound predictable like Jay and Just Blaze made "Show Me What You Got" like. But yeah tracks 4 and 7 stood out the most for me. Solid album overall for someone that came out of nowhere. One of my favorites from last year. Thanks for reviewing this.
 

Lord Funk

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Re: Kidz In The Hall - School Was My Hustle
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2007, 01:53:18 PM »
lol... guess we'll have to disagree on some of those tracks, but props for responding man.

I thought I read that "Ms Juanita" was based on that Tribe track... maybe not...

But honestly, as average as I think "Show Me What You Got" is, "Don't Stop" is inferior IMO. Just Blaze's live drums on Jay's track are awesome. The song here is more of a loop... just didn't float my boat. All good though.
"I fornicate with porn stars, sluts and strippers.
 Well - only on the Internet but what's the difference?"

 - Mad Child from Swollen Members, 'Adrenaline'
 

Smoke Break

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Re: Kidz In The Hall - School Was My Hustle
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2007, 02:19:30 PM »
2. "Ritalin"
No idea what Ritalin means, but this two-minute track is pretty great.
It's a pill they give to lots of kids in the U.S that have A.D.D