Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Chicago's Yea Big & Kid Static, is opinionated and out-spoken. The duo makes the kind of defiant and churlish hip-hop that comes from dissatisfied young men, idealistic and yearning for better results than the crap ones they're getting or seeing as most likely, for themselves and for others. They are the words of those who sense that we're not bettering anything and that we're just phoning it in, sticking with a routine that might need some rejiggering or a complete overhaul. Yea Big and Kid Static seem to contend that the bigger truths are hidden under layers of muck, and that we're being kept from the most sublime beauties of existence, the various things that along us an appreciation for the subtle and rich details. We're being lied to, but maybe we've still got some cool enough homies that we'll overlook these obstructions and these cover-ups. On "Run To The Facts," they give us the line, "Who we got to speak the facts when they don't speak for themselves," and the answer doesn't jump out and bite us. It could be that there is no answer and they aren't sure if there's an answer either. It will always be a struggle to get to any kind of setting where the information being disseminated is all of the information that we are entitled to. It's this brand of indie hip-hop that tends to pounce on these shortcomings and demand that they be fixed - and Yea Big and Kid Static, even when they're in short 1980s-era basketball shorts, headbands and performing with a bit of a wry, comedic style, do so with the passion of a collegiate protester, someone who's going to organize a picket or a sit-in. It will be an event that will be about the issue, but there will be a protest tee-shirt and plenty of hot chocolate and bagels to go around so that no one has to do it on an empty stomach. There is the element of disgust - perhaps focused on the media, perhaps on the government, or both - in the excited lyrics of the two and they slam against the walls with volume and conviction. They are issues that are believed in and argued. They maintain that the truth is often distorted and because it's such a regular occurrence, there is now an acceptance, or a recalculation to place the new "truths" into a greater focus or light. They are the replacement truths and most are settling for it. You can hear that Yea Big and Kid Static are fed up with this attitude, as it's a frequent subject on the group's two full-length albums - the latest called "The Future's Looking Grim," released last summer - but they aren't going to be stunted by it. There's a rage within their playful dealings with these subjects that suggests that there might always be something laughable in the denseness of the greater majority. It will continue to breed head-scratching and social fervor, awkwardness and, occasionally, very terrible people, but then there will be the lucky peanut gallery, full of observation-istas who find the insanity something that might just be fun to drink to. Not toast to, mind you, but drink to. There's a difference.
Yea Big Official Site