Kid N Play

Perhaps my thoughts will be more than a few… but I must begin by saying that I was really moved to write this piece after viewing last night’s episode of Unsung. I thought (as is par for the course for the series) that the production was nicely done. Sure, there’s always speculation surrounding who doesn’t appear and why, but you know as the adage has been for ages surrounding entertainment: “The show must go on!” and on it did go.

I think really the heart of the matter for me is that this episode, this group, called to remembrance a time where I really, really loved Hip Hop music because it was genuinely a reflection of myself and my peers. Now granted, I’m older now and so naturally a lot of that reflection has faded over the years, but those years (’87 – ’92 or so) what I saw and heard from groups like Kid N Play was myself because these guys represented fun. That time of my life was a lot of fun as it was supposed to be when you’re young and responsibilities are few.

The music of Kid N Play always had a certain energy that just exuded a “Let’s have a good time” ethos. The image that was projected was let’s dance until we’re out of breath and oh yeah “Where the ladies at?” At that point in my life those were pretty much my goals and these guys were a big part of that soundtrack. Oh sure I had other groups that I liked for different reasons, but when it was time to get the party started? The first time I heard “Rollin’ With Kid N Play” was at a party and the grin that came across my face as I heard these guys do what they do over my beloved go-go further solidified that these were my dudes.

Yes times change. The music and the messengers got harder. But I’m grateful that I was around during that vibrant time where it was cool to dance, it was ok to tell stories about a good time, there was still a certain amount of innocence in the music because moms or pops might be listening and the ladies were adored and not deplored. That was my way. That was the way of Kid N Play and as we always said before we hit the party or hit the dance floor in those days… “Let’s Do This!

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.