I'm a rock guy but I can handle a little rap. After all, I went to college with Jam Master Jay. Well, Jay went to my college only he didn't graduate. But I'm getting off topic.
We became acquainted with Secret Agent 23 Skidoo years ago – specifically Kindiefest 2009 in Brooklyn (in the house!), where he performed a lively, entertaining set.
Since that time, we've watched as he's cultivated a more secure "character" persona at several other venues, whether it was Kindiefest 2010, Symphony Space, or Kidstock 2011 on Long Island.
"Cactus," as he likes to refer to himself, has now released a live CD, LIVE AT THE ORANGE PEEL. Recorded with a full, 10-piece funk band (the Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band), the show acts as a reprise of his career to date and sets him up for the spring release of his next kid hop project.
You may well ask, what's the difference between traditional hip hop and 23 Skidoo's kid hop? For one thing, you will find nary a stretch limo, a bottle of Couvoisier, nor a fleet of scantily-dressed ladies with nightmare-inducing tattoos. Instead, you get positive reinforcement, family fun, imagination play, and the world from the point of view of a 10-year-old, courtesy of his daughter, MC Fireworks.
When I played the concert for the fam, Ben immediately told us which CD each track originally appeared. Matt (turning 3) sat and listened. By the time we got to "Never Stop Asking," he was singing along with the "Hi Ho He" chorus. That's high praise from a toddler.
But hey, what do I know about hip hop or rap? I'm so white that I get sunburn peering through venetian blinds. Regardless, years of exposure and cultural pervasiveness have done their work on me – I can tell what's truly heinous and I know what I like. And I like a little hop hop for the little kids, and that's what 23 Skidoo delivers. Regardless of how one feels about Yo Mama's big Fat Booty, band or not.
LIVE AT THE ORANGE PEEL drops on November 19 at Secret Agent 23 Skidoo's website, Amazon, and iTunes.