Even though the current fashion of tight jeans and colourful attire has led to much verbal castration of rappers, one duo which have been spared much onslaught are the Cool Kids. Chuck Inglish and the newly named Sir Michael Rocks have instead won more respect for their ode to 1980s Hip Hop, fashion and more. But as Sir Rocks now looks to temporarily offer up something as a lone act, can the Chicago young gunner establish himself as a successful act without his musical partner and more importantly – will Premier Politics, his solo offering, manage to deter the “haters” who are out to stone all the fashion savvy hipsters like himself who pick up a microphone?

Even when venturing out solo, Michael Rocks still offers up his patented mix of silky rhymes about Nikes, women and US sports. The cruise control-like “Merry Go Round” is a carefree offering, with Rocks expressing the continuous cycle of weed, money and more which occupies his young life. Previous works have shown that The Cool Kids have never been ones to mull over the pressing issues of the world and instead focus on the finer joys fame has to give. Fortunately for them – or Michael in this instance – their slick depiction of such life makes up for the simple, somewhat egocentric material on hand. “Wassup” is a provided with a dope Midwest bounce to dougie and snap to, whilst “Thank God” brings the summer vibes back with added sweetness from a chorus by Tennille. Premier Politics is predominantly powered Sir Michael’s “swag” which he shares in various guises.

Whether stunting on lesser rivals over champagne popping instrumentals or channelling the legend Too Short on “Too Short Back”, the Chicago rhymers self assured verses are all immersed in charisma – something which irritates as well as adding some appeal. Whilst this has been the blueprint for nearly all releases featuring Rocks, what differentiates this release from others is that production is handled by more than his Cool Kids partner Chuck Inglish. With credits going to Alchemist, Cardo, DJ Thunder as well as Inglish, musically Premier Politics diversifies into bigger productions rather than sticking with the vintage boom-bap offerings which the duo favour. When hearing a track like “Brite” or the stretched out soul sample on “Start The Show,” Sir Michael Rocks delivers well rounded performances which should push him to mainstream recognition.

Although metaphorically, the mixtape is more Levis than Louis Vuitton, Premier Politics is a shiny, colourful affair which pushes Mikey Rocks out of the trendy Hip Hopper bubble into the wider Hip Hop spectrum. Even though numerous half-hearted choruses dampen the fire on numerous tracks, there is still enough heat on hand to extend the summer period – even if it’s only within the imagination of the listener. Michael’s tireless promotion of his “extravagant” living arrangements may at times bore, but it is nevertheless consistent and refuses to offer an apology or contradictory message at any point throughout. With the underground popularity remaining secure, Premier Politics is the ideal all round project to appease the best of both the mainstream and subterranean Hip Hop worlds.

Sir Michael Rocks – Premier Politics
Released: September 30, 2011
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