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Longtime One Track Mind readers will already be familiar with Chicago/Detroit hip-hop duo The Cool Kids from their guest vocals on 2009’s “Awesome” by The Bloody Beetroots. Lately, the rappers have teamed up with the Green Label Sound project (which has previously worked with Chromeo, Holy Ghost!, Solid Gold, and Theophilus London) to release a pair of free digital singles: “Delivery Man” and today’s song, “Bundle Up.”
“Bundle Up” is the descendant of the early Def Jam aesthetic that made early hits by Run D.M.C. and LL Cool J so distinctive; a minimalistic, raw loop hammers away in the background providing the song with a crunchy beat. The Cool Kids add to this base sparingly, relying predominantly upon an 8-bit synthesizer riff and their own call and response vocals. It shares the same general feeling that made Clipse’s “Grindin'” so compelling nearly a decade ago (and really, if someone said that The Neptunes were behind the production on “Bundle Up,” no one would have reason to doubt it).
When examined through this lens, “Bundle Up” is also illustrative of hip-hop’s increasing comfort mingling the genre’s traditional template of sounds with the increasingly pervasive influences of contemporary electronic music. Of course, that is more about things coming full circle than it is a matter of horizons expanding–after all, the Zulu Nation was down with Kraftwerk before Kanye was cool with Daft Punk, and early hip-hop artists frequently found themselves at home on dance music labels–but one need look no further than the charts to see how rappers like Kid Cudi and Lil Wayne have warmly embraced recent trends from the electronic world.
In that sense, “Bundle Up” really does feel like an updated take on “Grindin’;” a little more synthed-out but with the same great vocals and dirty beat.