The Cool Kids 

"Laconic" doesn't even begin to describe the Cool Kids. In their partnership, Illinois-born Antoine "Mikey Rocks" Reed and Michigan's Evan "Chuck Inglish" Ingersoll exude a confidence so assured that it's often mistaken for laziness or ineptitude. Homemade boom-boom-bap beats set a skeletal pace that Rocks and Inglish gamely jog alongside, slinging '80s-cadenced verses that shout out equally '80s signifiers: pagers, gold chains, tricked-out hoopties they kindly ask you not to lean on. It's all delivered with a mealy-mouthed, quicksand nonchalance so subtle that sly punch lines and unorthodox rhyme schemes slide under the radar more often than not. Of course, Cool Kids are way too young to pine for Do the Right Thing theatrical screenings and boomboxes and such; still, it's uncanny how easy it is to imagine the pair stunting in the background of a Luke Skywalker or Rakim music video, back in the proverbial day.

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