Cool Kids - Black Mags - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Cool Kids - Black Mags

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

A retro-flavoured blast of genius from the self-dubbed "new black version of the Beastie Boys", 'Black Mags' is sleepy-eyed slouch of near horizontal cool with a wicked sense of humour at its centre. Two fly dudes brag insouciantly about their pimped-out rides over the sparsest of rhythm tracks, the empty space around their voices thick with secondhand dope smoke. So far, so gangsta - but here's the flip: Chuck English and Mikey Rocks (for it is they) are actually boasting about their peddle bikes, going into the same ultra-fetishistic macho-competitive detail that rappers usually save for their cars and guns. Mikey even stops to offer a 'shorty' a ride on his stunt pegs, with the easy arrogance of a player using his Bentley as girl-bait. Brilliantly, Black Kids avoid any Goldie Lookin Chain-style mugging, instead playing everything straight and adding to the air of G-in-his-head surrealism. In its own way - kids filling lazy afternoons with dreams of being the illest, boys bonding over their less-than-stellar toys - 'Black Mags' is as true to the 'keeping it real' ethos of hip hop as anything on Jay Z's Reasonable Doubt.

Richard Morris

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