Editor's Note: This is a moment of full disclosure... I have hosted a Pajama Jam Kid 'N Play House Party themed birthday party, and I dressed as Kid using a sheet of black cardboard taped into a cylinder atop of my head. It really worked. Feel free to take my idea, use it wisely.
Somewhat like Paula Cole, we ask: Where have all the hi-top fades and low fades with the part to the side gone? And more theoretically, would it be possible for Kid 'N Play to bring them back again?It's been 21-years since the duo released 1991's Face The Nation, and throughout that time, the pair have still remained relevant and in the back of hip-hop fan's minds in large part due to their House Party movies, which still get regular airplay on Comedy Central.And let's be real, without these two, we may not have been graced with movies such as Outkasts' Idlewild and Method Man and Redman's How High. And that would be tragic.
Originally named The Fresh Force Crew, the duo met in high school while both were in separate rap groups. Eventually, the pair came together after the others in their groups moved on and changed their name to Kid 'N Play in 1987 after shortening their solo names, Kid Coolout and Playboy.
Since then, the duo's friendship has stood the test of time in a business that has seen relationships fold for one reason or another, again and again because of jealousy, greed, shady business practices, women, and many other reasons. For Christopher Martin, a.k.a Play, the reason they've lasted is simple.
"Kid and I never auditioned to be Kid 'N Play," said Martin. "We never auditioned to be Christopher Reed and Christopher Martin. With us, we never had a falling out that has caused a major rift or anything that has damaged the relationship."
The duo will be performing along with Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh, EPMD, Salt-N-Pepa and many others as part of the Legends of Hip-Hop tour. But a term such as legend or icon does not resonate with Martin.
"I'm a little reluctant with it, and maybe that's just humility on my part," said Martin. "I do recognize the fact, and am very appreciative, that Kid and I played a very important and special part in regards to breaking through doors and walls that help make hip-hop recognizable as a major force in movies."
Instead, Martin thinks of acts such as Treacherous Three, Cold Crush Brothers, Hollywood, and Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, whose The Message, Martin cites as the greatest rap album ever made.
"I'm fortunate and blessed enough to live through that defining moment when that record changed the game," said Martin, "and put rap music on the map as something that can do more than just be a party starter, but could also be on CNN or graphically and accurately report the climate of what's going on in the social environment, and things of that nature."
An event such as this one coming together in the late '80s or early '90s may not have been feasible due to the high status of each act and the need to be the main attraction. Today, such reasons are no longer a problem says Martin.
"We're all at that point where the stuff that used to be important to us," he admits. "In regard to being full of ourselves and kind of getting caught in our own hype, so to speak, is kind of behind us."
And thought Martin may be 49-years old, releasing no new music anytime soon, putting an end to performing may be years away for the veteran.
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"I don't think it's an age thing," said Martin. "When your legs are gone, when your arms are gone and you can't hold a mic, your throat is gone, it's been taken away, you can't speak. But from a spiritual view, it's just when the passion is gone."
Kid 'N Play perform on tonight, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. with Legends of Hip-Hop alongside Salt-N-Pepa, Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh, and others at Nova Southeastern, Don Taft University Center, 3301 College Ave., Davie