Kid ‘n Play

  • Kid 'n Play
  • 2 Hype (Select) 1988 
  • Kid 'n Play's Funhouse (Select) 1990 
  • Face the Nation (Elektra) 1991 
  • Various Artists
  • House Party Soundtrack (Motown) 1990 
  • House Party 3 (Select) 1994 

Along with DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, New York’s Kid ‘n Play were among the best of the lite rappers, middle-class performers whose pursuit of pop stardom didn’t preclude exciting grooves. Christopher Reid (Kid) — he of the towering fade — and Christopher Martin (Play) concentrate on shameless self-promotion, but do their bragging with such frisky good humor that it’s hard to object. And the quick interplay of these two wise guys simulates a live feel missing from much contemporary rap.

2 Hype features the snappy “Rollin’ with Kid ‘n Play” and “Undercover,” a cheating morality tale guest-starring the Real Roxanne. Funhouse has the explosive “Energy,” perhaps the guys’ best, and the title track, also spotlighted in their delightful feature film debut, House Party. The soundtrack includes boss tracks by Public Enemy (“Can’t Do Nuttin’ for Ya Man”), L.L. Cool J, Full Force and other fine folks. (Oddly, the duo has only one track on the sequel’s soundtrack, a hit single called “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody.”)

The pair went on to make three more House Party films and even had their own Saturday morning cartoon.

[Jon Young]