Naledge: Kidz In The Hall

Sunday, 01 November 2009 16:27 Written by  Brittany Rodgers

Hip hop duo Kidz in the Hall became the new faces in the hip hop industry in the early 2000s. They were first signed to Rawkus Records, the underground rap label responsible for introducing artists like Mos Def and Talib Kweli. Chi-Town native Naledge provides his unique lyricism in the group, set to the sounds of DJ/producer Double O, who hails from New Jersey.

kid Kidz in the Hall’s recent album is “The In Crowd” which features artists like Estelle, but with their new album getting ready to drop, they have something different in store. Naledge got a chance to speak with GMO about how the duo came to be, what’s new with the group and upcoming projects for 2010.

GMO: How did you and Double O meet?

Naledge: We met in college at a talent show in Philadelphia; we both went to the University of Pennsylvania. He was a senior and was definitely already an established DJ on campus. He was always the DJ at college parties. When I came on the recruiting trip to the school, there was a talent show, and from that we started our relationship doing music together. With the Internet, it made it easy for us to communicate even more so back then than now. Nowadays, you don’t even have to be in the same state or country with somebody and can have a record together. At that time, we definitely were on the AIM, email and had Sidekicks. It shows how long ago that was.

GMO: How did you get the group name Kidz in the Hall?

Naledge: In late 2004 we decided to be a group. We all made music and went to school with each other. Everybody we hung out with chose to be on the school thing; they were in class all the time. Either they were in the library or focused on a test, which was their focus. For us, we were the kids who were just in the hallway. That’s how we personified ourselves; we wanted something that personified ourselves. We wanted something that indicated that we were in school and that’s kind of the environment we came from. We did a lot of college shows and college parties between me being in a fraternity (Kappa) and playing sports. We were definitely school boys but not the school boys who went against the grain.

GMO: When did you first start rapping?

Naledge: In Chicago, at the time, rapping was popular. At that period, I was hanging out in Hyde Park a lot. I spent most of my life in Hyde Park, but I don’t claim Hyde Park as much anymore. I feel like people who are from there are always reminding me that I’m not from there.

My best friend lived in Hyde Park, and one day we sat in the crib and said, “We gone be rappers,” and that’s literally how it started. At that time, everybody wanted to be hip hop, and it’s like, how are you going to be hip hop? It was only certain things you can do to be cool, being hip hop was one of them. The only way to get attention is to do something that is fly. It is only so much a dope outfit can get you. You have to have some form of talent.

We used to stay in the house and write raps. My cousin Corey was older than me and influenced me. I came to him and told him that we were really trying to rap and he told me that I would have to take it seriously. He would make beats while we sat in the house rapping. I didn’t really share what we were trying to do until we thought it was dope and until my cousin thought what I wrote was dope.

GMO: How would you describe your style of rapping?

Naledge: I feel like who I am as a person is very much reflected in the music. Some people adopt a character; they become a different person in their song. I’m pretty laid back but I’m real. I’m very opinionated and that shines through in the music. The style that I have is very smooth, laid back and aware, but at the same time, I’m human.  I make human music and it sounds simple. I feel like a lot of people make music from a standpoint like they’re some type of super hero or larger than life character. I feel like I adopted an everyman mentality to speak for the people. I think I have a unique ability to relate to everyday stories. The style is rooted in hip hop but everyday people can relate to it.

GMO: What record label are you signed to currently?

Naledge: I’m on Duck Down record label right now. The label is synonymous with underground hip hop. We bring our unique style to the table.

GMO: What will Kidz in the Hall be doing in the near future?

Naledge: We are working on a LRG mixtape. We’re working on our album which should be out first quarter of 2010. The process of this year is finishing the album and putting the mixtape out. We are just continuing to do shows, but we don’t have any tours lined up right now.

GMO: So you are living back in Chicago for the time being. How does it feel to be back home?

Naledge: It’s a love-hate relationship I have with Chicago. I love it because it’s familiar, but at the same time, I hate it because it’s familiar. It’s certain things that are here that I love about the city and certain things I hate. If somebody else was to talk about it, then I would defend it because the city is what made me. I get mad because certain people in Chicago might not appreciate my music, but that’s what made me venture out and go to New York or LA.

Now that I came back home, everybody acts like they liked my music all along.  It’s like, I can say you do one or two things; you can hold a chip on your shoulder or you can thank those people for making you motivate yourself to wanting to reach out to a bigger crowd of people.  It’s a Chicago mindset; things are a little bit slower here than LA. People aren’t used to being around someone who does music. In Atlanta, Miami, New York or LA, those are industry cities quote on quote.

GMO: How can your fans stay updated on with Naledge and Kidz in the Hall?

Naledge: My personal blog, It has kind of more music, fun stuff and my own opinion. Also my twitter page:


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Brittany Rodgers

Brittany Rodgers

Brittany Rodgers is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. She has written for a variety of publications, including The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Defender newspaper. She also is a blogger and enjoys social media.

Brittany can be contacted at