Keeping up with the Kickdrums

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“Lollipop,” by Li'l Wayne:

In April, Scene followed Cleveland-based production duo The Kickdrums in their quest to burst into the national hip-hop scene. When I left them, Matt Penttila and Alex Fitts were banging on that door pretty loudly, forging a master-and-apprentice relationship with Cincinnati producer Hi-Tek, arranging with Houston rapper and mogul Scarface to work on his next album, and persistently sending out beats to every notable rapper in the industry. Penttila and Fitts aren’t the type to rest on half-finished laurels. They’ve been as busy as ever in the ensuing month. The song at the top of this blog is their remix of Lil’ Wayne’s “Lollipop.” It’s trademark Kickdrums—hip-hop sped up to a club tempo, with a few alt-rock guitar riffs thrown in for good measure. And they didn’t harm Weezy’s vocals too much, leaving intact such high-brow gems as “Tell your girl like Doritos that’s Not ch’yo cheese/ Tell her friends like Fritos im trying to lay." ... Check their Myspace page for a few new tracks, including the first dividend from that relationship with Scarface. The ex-Geto Boys drawler spits 64 bars with no hook over a Kickdrums beat. For a departure from the rap stuff, give “One Kiss One Lie” a listen—a collabo with local rock group The Reprieve. I was in the den/studio working on the story when the group’s lead singer recorded the vocals. A shy white guy with a lip-piercing, Scene’s highly judgmental photographer chastised him with, “You’re depressed, man. You need to lighten up.” He’s a far cry from the Kickdrums’ usual iced-out, swaggering recording partners, but the song turned out catchy as hell—further proof that The Kickdrums can work with anybody. – Gus Garcia-Roberts

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