This is part 3 in a series of interviews that took place backstage at Lollapalooza
this summer. Not only was it very informative-it shed another light on
the type of musical artists invited to perform at one of the best
festivals in the country. And listening to the Kidz In The Hall(MC Nalege and DJ Double O) talk-I
Q. Kidz how do you classify what you do is it Rap, Hip Hop or Soul?
(Nalege)We just do what we feel-it’s hip hop music. It originates from
the true school(of hip hop). The same way you are influenced by your
parents(growing up)-everything you listened to is going to influence
what you start out doing. We kind of classify it as true school hip hop
and put a new spin on it for our generation. It’s Soul, and it’s Hip Hop-but it’s also house and tons of other things.
We just try to
keep the integrity-lyrically of where we come from and what we’ve seen.
We throw it all in a bowl stir it up and it comes out nice…we’ve got
good instincts. It’s always been good to us in this way.
So DJ Double O, you and Nalege met in Philadelphia…how did this
A. College…college. I was at University of
Pennsylvania doing sound at the time-I would set up the sound for shows,
events and stuff like that on campus. Then I had the chance to set up
the sound for a talent show for perspective students. All of the high
students who had got into Penn but hadn’t yet made the decision to go,
were there for minority scholars weekend. For those students not
sure-we had put together this weekend for them to be immersed into what
we were all about.
Naledge was one of those seniors who was in
the talent show and started freestyling. And I was like wow…he’s only
17 years old and he was that far along with his talent. So we
exchanged emails and kept in touch-then he came to Penn the following
September. As soon as he came we started working(on music)-in a home
studio set up in my apartment. That was in 2000 and now it’s 2010 and
the train is still chugging along.
I’m originally from New
Jersey-so at the end of the day-the stars were aligned for this to
happen. Even though we were from different parts of the country there
were things similar that we all grew up on and could share in
musically-house music being one of them. So when it comes to
experimenting-when it comes to stepping out of the comfort zone-it’s not
that far fetch because of that stuff we grew up with.
first started DJing-I would put together mixes of all Wu Tang records
and then I’d put on house remixes of Jodeci records and it all made
since in the same set. Those things all made it work-us having a background in both hip hop and house. And to me Penn
did all of the dirty work-it’s their job to pair
people together who are from a certain type of background with similar interests. All these things that will make for a good partnerships to build businesses
and all these crazy ideas. That’s why it’s the #1 business school in
the country-being good at doing that grunt work-to help students find the
common ground to do big things and for us it was music.
Naledge with you being from Chicago a house music town and a hip hop
town-how did you choose between the two-the music you would do?
Well for me it all came down to females. In high school you either
played ball, gang banged or you rapped(something musical)-all my friends
rapped. The more I took to music, I started to love it and it gained a
life of it’s own. Before college it was just a hobby I enjoyed
doing-but it wasn’t until I got to college and met Double O-that I
thought it was something I could make a living doing.
I never thought that it was realistic profession-I
thought I could do it for fun-do some shows-impress girls but not
really ever earn a living off of it. I thought you’ve got to do something
stable with your life. But the more I started seeing the light-I
started to realize we could do this. We could do it forever. As long as
we follow our instincts-our instincts about the music-we will never go
Well for now, class is dismissed. A lesson learned from more than just some Kidz In The Hall.