The Kidz Are Making Noise Again…

LRG & Kidz in the Hall Presents: The Professional Leisure Tour

Today’s showcased music is a mixtape by Chicago rap duo Kidz in the Hall (sponsored by LRG). It’s been a while since I’ve heard anything from Naledge & Double-O, I’m still wringing enjoyment out of personal favorites like “Don’t Stop” (School Was My Hustle), “Drivin’ Down the Block (Remix)” (The In Crowd) & “Clothes, Hoes & Liqour” (Kidz in the Hall & Mick Boogie Presents… Detention). A third studio effort titled “Land of Make Believe” is supposedly due out in the first quarter of 2010, be sure to check out it’s singles “Flickin” and “Jukebox“.

As you can tell by now, I’m an undying fan of what I’ve affectionately dubbed “the opening hook”, and PLT (Professional Leisure Tour) wastes no time in grabbing the listener’s attention with the answer machine formatted “Intro”. It begins with a hypnotic coupling of piano and organ chords… and after a while it is subtly interrupted by the voice message of an endearingly suspicious girlfriend, warning her limelit boyfriend to refrain from cheating while on tour.

The mood of the mixtape then shifts somewhat with the clubby sneer laced “We At It Again“. Naledge boastfully reintroduces the duo by stating:

Back by popular demand it’s the 2 man band/ Making out like bandits…

And staying true to his sociopolitically rebellious but brash style he caps off the verse with:

Give to the poor, Steal from the rich/ Middle class, Tell your girlfriend suck a dick

The hookless “Blade Brown”  is a boom-bap gem in which Naledge displays his lyrical prowess, cleverly bragging:

I’m your favorite rapper’s girlfriend’s favorite rapper…”

“Blade Brown”, an obvious nod to the fictional character portrayed by Play (of Kid ‘n Play) in the movie “Class Act“, gradually dies down and ends with another voice message from what seems to be a different girl expressing a dislike for her boyfriend’s most recent behavior and lack of communication.

The next track “Flickin’” (from off their upcoming album) shows Naledge incoporating a flow last seen on Cam’ron‘s “What Means the World to You“. The track also uses the always welcomed chopped and screwed effect. So far this is my favorite song and it gives the listener much incentive to check out Land of Make Believe.

The track again, towards the end, fades into a voice message. This time the message is being left for a woman by another woman. The women leaving the message comes off as gold digger stating:

Ooh, and I’mma wear that dress that I was wearin’ when Nick Cannon try’ta holla. Anway girl hit me back because you know these kids got money and we tryin’a get it. Don’t sleep.”

Taking a page out Nas‘ “Black Girl Lost“.

The incriminating voice message then leads into the next track, “Goin’ For It” (Featuring Christian Rich). This is a quite forgettable song on PLT although Naledge appears to lose none of his lyrical potentcy.

Next is “Jukebox” , a raunchy “club banger”. Also a track off of Land of Make Believe, it hints that the duo is going for a glossier sound  this time around. Nonetheless, Double-O goes in on the production; resulting in a very rhythmic/bouncy dance tune.

Then enters “A Little Bit“, a smooth melody, slightly decreases the hype mood of “Jukebox”. But despite that smoothness the song lacks something, after awhile you drown out the lyrics and become lost in the beat— Double-O stealing the show?

“A Little Bit” like previous tracks, eventually fades into another voice message being left by another women. This time the nature of the voice message is much more somber as the women expresses a need to solve “their” relationship problems. Setting the tone for the next song.

All Night Long (Make Up Sex)“, our next track, features the former Floetry songtress Marsha Ambrosius. Unlikes past guest appearance Marsha puts forth a very sexually charged performance, giving way to Naledge’s usual lyrical acrobatics.

Next on PLT is “Grizzly Man“, another favorite of mine. With a piano riff very similar to Dr. Dre‘s “Still D.R.E.“, Naledge lets loose bars with pompus ferocity. Here he spits:

I run my city like I’m trainin’ for a marathon/ I live in the sky, always keep a carry-on/ Haters carry on, I just carry debit cards/ Up in ????? buyin’ Rosé for every broad/ I’m sorry if your life sucks/ You can get it too nigga go on step ya life up…”

This track ends  traditionally with a voice message and this time around you’re able to determine that this is in fact the same woman from the previous voice messages on previous songs, “Blade Brown” & “A Little Bit“. In this message she offers a backhanded apology for her previous messages.

The mood is then ironed out by the airy “Understandin’“. Although this song isn’t really a standout it has its charming qualities and Naledge appropriately lightened the intesity of his delivery. The beat is somewhat similar to Wale‘s “The Artistic Integrity” (The Mixtape About Nothing).

By now the mixtape starts to winds down and the tranquil mood is continued by “Everyday“. The track contains the familar use of piano, accompanied by a robotic/synthesized chorus, and is another forgettable song on PLT. The track again ends with a voice message and this time the female is irate, claiming to be “done” with their relationship.

Life I Know” is sadly another “skip it” track. Naledge’s lyrics are barely tolerable and the chorus is ho-hum. This song dissapointed me because it’s starting to become apparent that all the “good” music was given to us in the beginning. By now I am waiting for PLT to be over and done with.

The last track however, “We Gone“, attempts to go out with a bang and it successfully does so; awakening the listener from the lull induced by the previous two songs. It also contains a bonus track supposedly from Naledge’s first album Naledge is Power

The bonus song, “Doin’ My Thing“, heavily samples The Dell‘s “A Heart is a House for Love” (The Five Hearbeats Soundtrack) and Naledge goes off with retrospective grit and blue collared bitterness, raining I-told-you-so’s on past A&R’s and record executives that decided to pass on him:

Dude’s alright but who’s really gonna buy this?’/’He don’t bust gats. He don’t sell crack’/’And don’t nobody wanna hear his ‘Jack & Jill’ rap/ I tell ’em ‘Fuck that!’/ Ya’ll don’t know where I came from or where my love’s at/ Nah, this ain’t no Thug rap/ This Everyday people-Gotta ride the bus rap/ Workin’ in the mall-Gotta smoke a blunt rap…”

At the end of the song he proceeds to shout out fellow peers such as Just Balze and Saigon to an ongoing soul influenced chorus. A fitting end to a professionally pleasing mixtape.

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