The Cool Kids Return With an Edgier Sound on "Running Man" Single

The veteran duo make their long-overdue return to our ears, but with a much darker sound.

When news broke this past July that The Cool Kids were reuniting, I was eager. We hadn’t truly heard from the duo in five years outside of reunion rumors and loose offerings “Computer School” and “Chop," but surely, this time around, their return was imminent.

“I called Mikey and realized nothing would feel better than us being the originators again. The Cool Kids are back forreal,” Chuck Inglish tweeted to his fans.

Sir Michael Rocks also took to Twitter, “Everything else can wait. The world is fuckn trippin right now I just want shit to feel good again,” showing that him and Chuck were on the same page.

This past Saturday (September 17), the duo dropped off their brand new single, “Running Man,” featuring Houston rapper Maxo Kream. The single is the grown version of The Cool Kids; it’s Chuck and Mikey with a darker, grittier edge. The one element in “Running Man” that keeps the song abreast with their previous work is that it’s also driven by dynamite bass.

The duo has always staked themselves on being originators. They were at the forefront of a genre that they’ve definitively shaped, leaders of the first generation of internet rappers who found fame in the early years of social media through Myspace and more. As such, they’ve always been plagued by biters, one of the running themes of The Cool Kids' careers.

Mickey addresses this on “Running Man”:

“And we make the style that they try to steal / They be runnin' off with it like shootin' drills.”

Classic songs like “Black Mags” and “Mikey Rocks” were laden with heavy, dragging bass, but they still had buoyancy and verve—joining old school rap with Cool Kids’ era swagger, or what’s referred to as ‘hipster.’ In an interview with Spin in 2014, Mikey said, “There’s a lot of sharks out here, and people will bite, so you got to protect your style and let people know they can’t just take your shit.”

While growth and progression are always necessary—The Cool Kids can’t and shouldn’t be stuck in the sound we know them for—the possibility of the pair biting current trends and not rejuvenating something they already built would be disappointing. In the same interview with Spin, Mickey said, “I was coming into the game thinking people would treat it like they do in the streets. In person, when you see someone do something cool, it makes you want to do something cool yourself, but not just copy them.”

Hopefully, that’s a sentiment The Cool Kids hold on to, as they continue their long-awaited reunion with a modernization of their sound.


By Tara Mahadevan. Follow her on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Instagram