Kidz in the Hall Album Release Party, NYC (5/20/08).

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I’d tell you what I think of Kidz in the Hall’s new album The In Crowd, but Naledge has made it perfectly clear that he "doesn’t give a flying fuck, like if you put some wings on Halle". Fair enough, but the party last night was knockin’ and Metal Lungies was in the house by way of your boy Knobbz. I got there around 7:45 which gave me an hour and a half to stare at people googly-moogly from across the room before the show started. Tim William and the Arcade Stars opened up, for which a lot of the screwface hip-hop-heads in the building had little patience. After four songs with little crowd response, a disgruntled Tim William dropped his mic and stormed off stage like a real rock star. I was paying more attention to Just Blaze setting up on the 1′s and 2′s.

Just Blaze rocked it for a little more than an hour, starting off with his hits (PSA, What We Do, etc.) then moving into classic New York shit. Just Blaze joints are a thing of beauty at full blast – they really fill the room and the crowd was definitely feeling it. Double-0 came out and worked the crowd a little bit too. A classic moment came when Just Blaze gave Double-0 his chain and put on Chain Hang Low. 0 bent down and hung the chain as low as he could, mocking the Jibbs hit; "they ain’t feelin’ that" went Just Blaze before going back to some explosive M.O.P. That wasn’t the last time mainstream rap would be shat on, either – Blaze quipped before finishing his set, "I don’t have any Lil Wayne".

Naledge finally came on and him and Double-0 went into songs off the album, starting with Black Out. After a couple of songs, they brought on Phonte and did Paper Trail. After the song, Phonte confessed that he’s the biggest zSHARE, RapidShare user there is, but everybody should go out and support the album. That’s the first time I’ve heard zSHARE get a shout out.

A few songs later, they brought on Skyzoo, my personal favorite artist in attendance last night, to do Let Your Hair Down.  I would’ve liked if they let him do The Necessary Evils, but that would’ve killed the party vibe. And people were having fun – there were some expressionless guys in the back with their arms folded, but most people were dancing and head-nodding.

Travis McCoy from Gym Class Heroes came on for Lucifer’s Joyride along with Tim William who was still on after doing The In Crowd.

Then Naledge and Double-0 launched into the single, which they had been proudly touting as landing number six on TRL, Drivin’ Down The Block. Halfway through, they stopped and brought everybody back on, including Tim William and the Arcade Stars who took the song to another level. This dude with the mullet and the Hello Kitty guitar threw some guitar riffs on the hook of the song which were awesome.

A few songs later, the Kidz went into campaign mode. They talked up Barack Obama, and forced everyone to put their hands up before they went into Work To Do. No, he’s not throwing up the Roc.

The highlight of the night was the surprise guest, Estelle, who’s been running the charts in the UK for a minute. I got some face time with her before she went on, because I was standing by the steps leading on stage. Needless to say, I snapped some obnoxiously close-up pictures.

I didn’t notice in the darkness of SOB’s, but Ms. Estelle has braces. Crooked teeth might fly in England, but not over here.

She did Love Hangover and then did American Boy which brought the house down and brought everyone back on stage to get a piece of the action.

They wrapped it up with another go at Drivin’ Down the Block. Unfortunately, Bun B and Pusha T didn’t show up to do the remix, as was hyped on the SOB’s page. Instead, Double-0 dropped the beat and Naledge did Pusha’s verse slowed down to some heavy drums. With his parting words, Naledge took a moment to comment on the state of rap music: "I’d rather brainwash you with a Low End Theory tape than Soulja Boy."

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