Kid ‘n Play to Showcase ‘House Party’ Battle and Break Down ‘Invisible Walls’ at Everything Is Festival [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]
If there was any rap group that knew how to have a good time onstage, it was Kid 'n Play. Since the late '80s, the hip-hop duo got the party started with songs like "Rollin' with Kid 'n Play" and showed the world how to rock the kick step made famous in the film House Party.
Now that the movie, which earned itself a cult following, turned 25 this year, the Queens, N.Y.-bred rap duo will be bringing their show to the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Ore. for the Everything Is Festival, which takes place May 28 through June 1.
Kid 'n Play will be treating festival attendees to a special screening of the film on Saturday (May 30). An episode (or two) from the rappers' self-titled '90s animated series will also be shown. But that's not all. The night will continue on with the House Party Pajama Jam, where Kid 'n Play and Mix Master Mike will be directing the vibes. With their best flannel PJs on, the guys will perform songs off albums like Funhouse and make sure to get a dance battle going just as they once did in the movie.
"We’ll be hanging out in some sort of unorthodox house party so to speak," Christopher "Play" Martin tells The Boombox. "We’ll be watching the movie with the audience as well as showing the cartoon episode from our NBC series. We had a comic book series with Marvel as well. Then we’ll do some kind of performance. We’re really looking forward to recreating the battle scene from the movie. It’s really just about making sure folks are having a good time and organic energy and organic surprises and organic good times.”
Watch Kid 'n Play in the House Party Trailer
Play doesn't want to reveal everything that will be going down at the festival, but the rapper promises it'll be a trip "down memory lane." "We’ve incorporated [the dance battle] into our live show, which we still do today. So without giving away too much, it’s just really going down memory lane. Kid and I are just reminiscing about real life house parties and parties I would throw, parties we would go to, what those were all about and how one thing would lead to another in regards to a challenge, so to speak," he shares.
Even though the film released in 1990, that doesn't mean that Kid 'n Play have been slowing down on the performance front. Play admits that they didn't have to do any extra prep for this particular show.
“We do it so much. It’s pretty much like breathing, you know. We’re very thankful for the fact we don’t have to do so much to prepare since we’ve been doing this in repetition for years and years and years. And it’s not just Kid and I. It’s our DJ, too, and the audience, and the stage," the 52-year-old states. " So from us doing our kick step to our songs, our hits, that’s anticipated. People just get involved in the energy and the fun and stuff. As I said, we try to break down other invisible walls -- 'You stay over there. We stay over here.’ It’s about having fun. What’s very important to us is that Kid and I, the love we have for each other, the camaraderie we have with each other resonates to the crowd. What we represent is friendship."
And while Portland, Ore. might not necessarily be one of the meccas of hip-hop, Play isn't worried about getting the crowd amped up for the event. He believes that the music speaks for itself and can reach far more than the "typical audience."
“If you meet somebody for the first time, it’s like there’s gotta be something to break the ice," he explains. "And it seems that the natives break that ice by saying or sharing how much they love this or how this did that for them, which invites us and makes it easy very quickly to get along and be alright with that. Music itself, we could call rap or hip-hop. But music itself is so universal. It transcends county lines, time and space or things of that nature."
House Party was one of the early films that gave the clueless a peek into hip-hop culture, style and dance. And while it inspired or even changed the lives of many young people at the time, Kid 'n Play's lives changed big time after the release of the film and the sequels that followed.
“It has a cult following like Rocky Horror Picture Show-type following and it changed our lives a lot. Thank God," Play says. "We were experiencing things that was kind of an education leading up to that with our music that was very successful. Music videos and touring a lot. And in doing music videos, we embraced [House Party] like doing a really long music video. It just widens the exposure in terms of being stopped more in an airport."
The popularity was so massive that his tradition of spending some "one-on-one" time with his father was affected. "And one of the things I remember, too, is I’m really big with family and times with my father. It was very important for me and my father to have one-on-one time. When we would go out publicly and literally, and I mean literally, he or I could not finish a sentence," he recalls.
Despite all of the fame and instant recognition, Play is grateful for what's transpired from the success of the House Party series and their music career.
"It gave us the opportunity to grow and be exposed and by the grace of God," Play affirms. "It all happened at a time in my life when I was willing to accept who am I going to marry, what neighborhood I was going to be in, do I take the factory job, but I ended up doing this."
Kid 'n Play and their film, House Party, will be at the Everything Is Festival on May 30 starting at 7:30PM PT. Festival passes can be picked up for $80 here.
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