Somewhere in Chicago the most promising band has its members contorting their bodies a few more times before it pries open the mouths of audiences across the world. Whether the gesture be frantic fingertips of an emcee, a rattling head of a saxophone player, or a subtle hand-to-thigh clap of a singer, the soul of their music contains a contagious rapture that even the creators cannot even subdue. They call themselves Kids These Days, a befitting name since most of their members are still high school. Everything’s included: Greg Landfair Jr. (Drums), Lane Beckstrom (Bass) JP Floyd (Trombone), Nico Segal (Trumpet), Rajiv Halim (Saxophones), Liam Cunningham (Guitar/Vocals), Vic Mensa (Emcee), Macie Stewart (Vocals). Whipping all their ingredients for delivery, KTD stuffs HipHopSoulJazz down the throats of a progressively irrelevant youth culture.
Music instigates the tension that locks itself in the soul, and KTD simply cannot ignore this fact. At a show when Greg strikes his drum, the loudness and severity pull the resentful air out your body. Lane’s bass walking fingers relax the mind, as his blue tone de-clouds your thoughts. Now you’re ready for the horns. Let Rajiv, JP and Nico’s solos belittle the fight you had with your mother. If she didn’t hear you before, it doesn’t matter because your screaming with the bellow of brass— “WOO!” Allow yourself to speak as sincere as Liam, who’s fearless enough to let his emotions have the best of him. Maybe get witty with it like Vic, telling you with confidence:
I live life like a mortal flight
And get high till I’m out of sight/
You feel me?
So go ahead and catch me if you can
With yo girl on the line like text me when you land/
However you chose to experience the show, it will end with Macie’s assuring vocal cords. Her voice simmers your explosion, healing the heart with every utter like Ella Fitzgerald. This is HipHopSoulJazz, a sound that “[fills] that gap between Hip Hop, Jazz, and Soul,” JP informs. According to Liam, that gap is rebellion, but more importantly the rebellion is an action of the youth. Each of the members reveal their tension nakedly, thereby, making ideas for the world rather than taking them from adults. Hence Liam tells me “I look at our music as the culmination of struggle.”
Every since day one I have been hooked. The first show I went to they played “Be,” a cover of Be by Common (my favorite emcee) fused with “Night in Tunisia” by Dizzy Gillespie. Leaving the show was disappointing, because for months I could not find anything else like their music. Macie confirms my reasons as to why KTD is so unique: “its great [that we] mix traditions of old music with some more contemporary genres because it brings everybody together from metal heads to jazz musicians” Usually, at a concert I am locked in one mode of my musical self, at a KTD concert I can be a Hip Hop head, a Jazz connoisseur, and Soul junkie simultaneously. Such a mood makes me understand why she thinks the band is more than bare HipHopSoulJazz. They have achieved a very humyn sense of music, in that the scene they cater to is not segregated. With the debut album coming out this Saturday, I can only predict that the album will show up on everyone’s ipod. KTD buries gaps, paving the way for a world in which I can agree rhythmically with my parents and grandparents in the same room. Do yourself a favor, and get your ass to the Reggie’s Rock Club on Saturday to experience a rapture that will leave you high and dry if you are not careful. (Info in top picture)