“It’s like when you’re growing up wanting to play for the Chicago Bulls,” explains Mikey Rocks, one half of the Chicago based hip-hop duo The Cool Kids. “As a shorty, you look up to ‘em. Then one day, you get to play at the United Center. That’s a lot like me getting to play Lollapalooza.”

A month after releasing their perpetually delayed debut album, “When Fish Ride Bicycles,” The Cool Kids were ready to bring old-school hip-hop back from the grave as part of Red Bull Music Academy’s curating of Perry’s Stage on Lollapalooza Sunday.

It was a refreshing change of pace -- the windy city fest was heavy on the electronic and indie scene, a bit light on the rap this year -- and The Cool Kids weren’t about to let it go to waste. They also weren’t too interested in discussing the drama that resulted in waiting a total of three years to finally release their debut long-player.

null Joshua Hanford/Red Bull Media House North America, Inc.

Joshua Hanford/Red Bull Media House North America, Inc.



“We made it happen, so we’re already looking forward,” Inglish says. “The world changes fast. We’ve always considered ourselves far ahead. In that three years it took us to make the record, we’re already thinking 12 years ahead.” The group has already hinted that a second album, “Shark Week,” will be released by Christmas. Given their track record, that remains to be seen.

But the trouble behind “When Fish Ride Bicycles” certainly hasn’t affected their live show. Fresh faced and dressed down, Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rocks leapt onto stage with their brightly colored graphics displayed behind them and their best b-boy skills in hand. In an era where hype men can prove to be a sloppy vocal distraction, Inglish and Rocks kept in perfect cadence with one another trading verses as they paced back and forth.

We’ve set this whole thing up so we stay in the game for a while.

Opening things up with banger “Bassment Party,” the Cool Kids set to bring a boom box vibe all the way from ’88 with their set. On “Delivery Man,” the duo implored thousands of fans to put their “arms up if [they] didn’t have arms.” On “When Fish Ride Bicycles” cut “Swimsuits,” Mayer Hawthorne trotted out in his blazer and bow tie to sing to his part.

“We’ve set this whole thing up so we stay in the game for a while,” explains Inglish shortly before his set. During their live set at Lollapalooza this year, the Cool Kids trotted out plenty of staying power.

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