KIDS – The Hazing (Album) [Review]
Vancouver, BC – KIDS have released their first full-length, original album in three years titled The Hazing. The crew integrates newest member Munro into the mix, while reconvening after much time dedicated to the larger group, 33KIDS, and solo projects. Inspired by the launch of their youth initiative ‘KIDS for Kids’ in December of 2012, KIDS hit the lab and created “Did It For The Kids Pt. 1” which became the catalyst and opening track for The Hazing.
“How you get yourself a good education when ya can’t afford ?/ Better yet how do you learn to love when your parents ignored ya?”
The album requires multiple listens to fully appreciate not because it’s hard to get into but because these guys are actually rapping about something. There’s emotion, purpose and direction to each and every verse on The Hazing. Songs that require a day or two – or maybe a week – to let you absorb the meaning and profoundness of what has just been said. KIDS have described their latest album as an “artistic interpretation of the trials, dilemmas and insights experienced by artists in the early stags of their careers.” The Hazing is the anthem for all struggling artists battling against their own egos and the industry. Better yet it’s an instrument, a vehicle that paints stories for a future generation to learn from and hopefully help them avoid the same trials and mistakes.
“I’m just a liar and a thief, a cheater, one them kids that set fire to the streets for theatre/ then hit the brakes, like when them tires screech but it’s too late, I’ve been dying for some peace trying to reach ya.”
Hip-hop was once described as “the knowledge movement.” To be hip is to be in the know and up to date with information and current events. Hop is a form of movement. If were going to play by these rules then The Hazing is a poster-child for hip-hop. First class scratching from DJ K-Rec doesn’t hurt either. This isn’t ego rap. It’s not thuggy “bitches and bottles rap.”
This is raw, intelligent, artistic music that’s meant to educate and inspire.
Check out this line from the albums last track, “Did It For The Kids Pt. 2,” where the whole vibe of the The Hazing really climaxes.
“Got these paths laid out for them kids that are clear as mud, with barriers on the side that are not willing to budge/ so they jump like hop-scotch then chop up the bud/ Thats what it was but now it’s something different/ Children sit in the classroom on prescription to pay attention.”
The beats follow the same trend. Without sounding too dated, they’ve got that unmistakable hip-hop feel while incorporating more modern bass lines and tuned 808s. Heavy on the samples, gorgeous pianos and Spanish guitars. They make really good use of percussion too, steeping outside of the typical kicks and snare patterns. Funky shit that will have you snappin’ your neck back. Make sure you’ve got some Rub A535 handy.
“My two cents, a movement grew with the times/ In self improvement remove more of my ego and it’s pride/ Can’t bruise what’s not alive, only chose what will apply/ In and out revolving doors a work in progress til it shines.”
The Hazing is a fun, tough. The album cover may have you thinking about the apocalypse but that’s just not the case. When the first song opens and the beat drops you’ll be visualizing a block party on a summer day. Boom boxes, kids breaking on cardboard and water gun fights. Sure there are darker, slower moments like “Confessional Song” or “Pick You Up” but those are just changing moods in an eternally positive person which is The Hazing. Emcees, get your god damn pens and pads out and take notes. Kids are not only mad brilliant but skilled as well. The 604 has a crew that is speaking up and needs to be heard. Represent.
Written by Max Dishaw for HipHopCanada
Twitter: @KIDSMUSIC604 | @MiZZNUM_PI | @4amstyles