The Stoop Kidz regenerate hip hop’s Golden Age in their own unique style
I have a friend here in town who is a very well-known, well-respected musician, recording engineer, songwriter and soundman. There was a time when I ate, lived and breathed the local music scene, but as I’ve gotten older that’s gotten harder to do.
My friend is out there every single night. For that reason, I frequently seek out his opinion on who and what is up and coming and he has never steered me wrong. The last time I asked him who he was impressed with lately he said to me, “Marc, the hottest group in town nobody knows about is the Stoop Kids.” I looked them up and I agree with him. It’s time we fix that.
The Stoop Kidz is a trio of MCs absolutely passionate about what they do. Corey Curtis, Julian Dejan and Justin Lewis (“C-Note,” “Déjà vu” and “Common Criminal” respectively) describe themselves as being dedicated to the old standards of hip hop, with intelligent lyrics, high production values and high-energy shows. The tracks I’ve heard and video I’ve watched confirm that the fellas can deliver the goods.
There will be inevitable comparisons to the Beastie Boys and that isn’t altogether incorrect, although the reason why may not be obvious at first. Far from being a clone of any particular group, the Stoop Kidz embody flawlessly the Golden Age of Hip Hop and that includes the likes of Run DMC, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, the Fat Boys and yes, the Beastie Boys.
In this respect Stoop Kids can be thought of as “retro” hip hop and man, have they nailed it. Frankly, I think it’d be slick if they released some singles on cassette, suitable for play in a spine-crushing boombox.
“Stoop Kidz Anthem” is a self-explanatory track that captures rather nicely the feel and spirit of the block party which is, of course, the birthplace of hip hop. The violin is a nice touch in this tune—kinda reminds me of the time Cypress Hill appeared on “The Simpsons” and stole Peter Frampton’s string section.
“All I Know” is classic “summer of ’87” stuff with an infectious funky bass line and laid-back flow that makes your brain want to strut. Seriously, if this tune had a video, it would be one of those very rare ones that Beavis and Butthead actually got up and danced to instead of complaining about it.
“Smoke it Up” is about curing ham. Or not.
Actually, “Smoke it Up” is about exactly what it sounds like it’s about, and as such is a good example of hip hop at the latter end of the Golden Age, late ’80s to early ’90s. Clever and amusing, the song does what it is meant to do.
“Get Up” is jazzy, smooth instrumentation with classic hip hop braggadocio lyric-wise. The artists sound hungry, ready to take on all comers, an essential element most of the time, but put to hoppin’ especially good use in this track.
The Stoop Kidz have successfully captured the look, sound and feel of a particular era in hip hop music, that “sweet spot” when the music’s mainstream popularity was snowballing and each week seemed to produce a new rap supergroup pushing the envelope in some new way. It is classic, it is brilliant, it is Stoop Kidz and it’s coming to a venue near you.
If you came of age during the rise of hip hop and feel some nostalgia and affection for those days, then Stoop Kidz is going to be your next favorite group.