A classic hip-hop duo in-training learned from the best Monday night at the House of Blues on Sunset.
The Cool Kids took the stage first, both MCs clad in a simple striped polo shirts and jeans. This Chicago-based duo is one of the best (and normally best dressed) to hit the scene in the last few years. Their flashier style was missed, but their clones in the audience showed why they toned it down.
The beginning of the set dragged a bit, but when the bass for classics like “Mikey Rocks” and “Gold And A Pager” dropped, it was on. At one point, the DJ pulled out Queen’s “We Will Rock You” as the beat, but either it didn’t fit or that technique is too played out—whatever the reason, that part of the set was off. Despite that, their tendency for ’80s nostalgia, both lyrically and musically, in songs like “88,” makes the Cool Kids irresistible for those of us who grew up watching Smurfs and wearing L.A. Gears.
The Clipse, on the other hand, brought the intensity from the beginning. Both Malice and Pusha T took control of the show easily, but it helps when you’ve been performing together for 15 years, and it probably didn’t hurt that their DJ warmed up the crowd with a little Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (he knows how to win a west coaster’s heart).
In the middle of the show, both MCs called out the audience for downloading their critically-acclaimed, yet modest-selling last album, but showed that all has been forgiven by playing some old classics (“Cot Damn”) and then giving a taste of what the next album (“Til The Casket Drops”) has in store, all with that familiar Neptunes flavor.
Kids, take out your notebooks.