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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Band Hip Hop Pop


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"Potholes in My Blog Flavor Ade Review"

Album Review: Cool-Aide (MiC K!NG & Chum) - Flavor Ade (2009)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Potholes
Support! Cool-Aide – Flavor Ade Album Review: Cool Aide Flavor Ade (2009)

It is the classic hip-hop paradigm: one emcee and one producer/DJ. This formula has created some of the greatest duos all throughout hip-hop’s history, and even into present day. Cool-Aide is just another terrific example of how effective this particular combination is. Comprised of Philadelphia rapper iCON the Mic King (now shortened to simply MiC K!NG), and Connecticut based Demigodz producer, Chum, Cool-Aide exhibits a lighthearted chemistry that makes their debut album, Flavor Ade, instantly accessible.

Flavor Ade tosses around a variety of topics. While mostly remaining playful, especially with its blatant misogynistic and self-indulging, albeit amusing, moments, there are times when the duo ventures into topics that actually require some deeper thinking. The opening track featuring Slug, “Snake Oil”, cautions against the perils of associating with those who lie and deceive. This may be read as a commentary on the music industry, but as noted in the song itself, it actually applies to real life. Then on “About Time” MiC K!NG philosophically attempts (surprisingly successfully) to explain that our time on Earth is limited, and needs to be used wisely.

MiC K!NG does a fine job lyrically, employing anecdotes and metaphors to keep the content lively. Furthermore, he stacks up well against the ultra-skilled guests Slug, Has-Lo, and Elzhi. “Word Perfect”, which features Elzhi, is a showcase of lyrical dexterity as MiC and Elzhi boast their prowess on the microphone.

Chum’s production meshes very well with MiC K!NG’s delivery. Providing irresistible bass lines and instrument samples (check the trumpets on the aforementioned “Snake Oil”), Chum also delves into a bit of electronica. The varied instrumentation gives each track its own unique sound. “Gimme Some Sugar” swirls in syrupy-sweet keys and guitars, while MiC K!NG raps about bagging eager groupies for one-night stands. “Neo Jack Swing” takes a more throwback sound, allowing Chum to show off his sampling expertise.

With unique sounds from track to track it’s important for there to be a unifying factor or two for Flavor Ade to build upon. Thankfully, the album is tied together – loosely – with humor and pounding beats that do a nice job of pacing the project. The closing track “Kind of a Woman” details a hilarious account of a woman using her sexuality to play a man and steal almost everything he owns.

Clocking in at just under 40 minutes, there is little room for missteps, which Flavor Ade does have. “I’m The Best Mayne”, and “I’m So Cool” fail to help the album progress, and find the duo trapped in bland egoism. Still, Cool-Aide has put together a concise, not-to-be-taken-too-seriously album that is more than worthy of a few spins. -

"KevinNottingham.Com Flavor Ade Review"

Underground hip hop has become so serious nowadays. Many artists yet to hit mainstream are rapping about their financial struggles, street life, or the (in their opinion) wack state of the hip hop game. Is this a problem? No. It can make for great music, but it becomes a little monotonous at times when your iPod is on shuffle. Insert Cool-Aide, composed of MiC K!NG (emcee) and Chum (producer), who in their album Flavor Ade, make fun music, and sound like they’ re having a good time doing it. Cool-Aide shows their party side, as well as their traditional hip hop talent, with an 11 track LP full of hits and misses.

The duo shows that they can hold their own on this album. On “Gimme Some Sugar” (Because nothings worse than Kool-aide with not enough sugar) MiC K!NG flows over the laid back & smooth instrumental that Chum provides: “So what you good at? / Got a dream be cooking and such /yea you could ride with me that’s if your woman enough ha/ you think you’re so damn cute/ girl you can’t upgrade me I’ll reprogram you” The album is unadulterated braggadocio; it’s a “you can’t touch this, I’m the best” kind of album and it works at times. MiC K!NG’s witty wordplay and flow are a highlight of the album, keeping the listener attached. “About Time” is a great track, and is an example of what sets this album apart from others. Chum laces the track with a funky beat, one that has the listener thinking of MiC K!NG as the rap Jimi Hendrix.

The standout track on the album is, “I Am So Cool”. With a Redman and Kanye West sample, along with a refreshing baseline, MiC K!NG coasts over the track effortlessly: “Twice as arrogant as Kanye West is/ who wanna test this?/ fuck ya’ll you don’t impress me/ you can’t out dress me/ an MC so fly I got planes trying to catch me”. “Word Perfect” may be the best display of lyricism on the album. A guest feature by arguably the best rapper out right now, Elzhi, doesn’t hurt. Behind the triumphant strings and horns both MCs go in on the track. First MiC K!NG boasts: “Cause’ muthafucker I’m the man/ you like work and don’t hold weight like a hologram /autograph your death warrant/ turn over your revenue /cause’ I made down right up start like pausing a special move” and Elzhi responds with: “A yo I get my clothes custom made/ from a stylist/ talk with the big boys ya’ll niggas is childish/ half weight half asses don’t use half the brain mass/ I’m in the building like the 9/11 plane crash”

Cool-aide tends to stray away from the traditional boom-bap sound, and there are times where this doesn’t connect. They have cuts on this album that would suffice at a house party or somewhere to dance such as “Take Steps” and “I’m the Best Mayne”. There is nothing wrong with party music, however this formula does not add up for Cool-Aide. “Take Steps” has a Texas trademark screwed hook, and quite frankly it’s pretty corny: “Put your heart in to it and just walk with me /walk walk with me/ put your heart in to it/ take steps steps steps steps”. There’s a reason why this is the shortest song on the album. “I’m The Best Mayne” also has a screwed up hook, as well as the auto tune effect going for it. They have the clashing of two trends in this song, which is very unpleasant to the listener’s ears and creating one of the worst songs on the record.

However, in “Neo Jack Swing” the upbeat tempo and lyrics make for a great record. Behind an Ice Cube sample, and the clashing of drums and symbol strokes, it’s almost impossible to not bounce to this “party” track. MiC K!NG compares his crew to “the modern day Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff” in the track and the comparison is accurate. At their best, Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff had the world kicking back and enjoying the sounds of “Summertime”. On the other hand, when you think of him as an MC, Big Willie Style and wack are some of things that come to mind. They had their ups and downs, as do Cool-Aide on this album. Having a good time isn’t looked down upon, but there’s a certain balance that must be maintained. The bottom line is some of the tracks on the album just do not sound good.

Cool-Aide attempts to liven things up a little bit and they do. MiC K!NG shows that he is fully capable of handling the solo MC task. He can spit; his flow and one-liners are something that the listener can appreciate on the album. There are times that the boasting lyrics over the high tempo breaks do get tired, and may have you taking a break from the LP. But, there are also instances that this hits homes with the listener, and has the crowd jumping. The feel of this album really all depends on what kind of mood you are in; if you are in an upbeat, party type of mood, then you will really enjoy this album. However, if you are at your computer listening through your headphones like any other album, Flavor-Ade may have a little too much sugar for your taste buds. -

"SkopeMag.Com Flavor Ade Review"

Have you ever put a CD in your laptop or CD player and right before you hit play, asked yourself why? Why do I really want to put this on? I felt that exact feeling before putting on the latest from Cool Aide, “Flavor Ade”. But with a sense of optimism, I hit the play button…and I sure am happy that I did.

Cool Aide, a refreshing hip-hop duo featuring MiC K!NG (f/k/a iCON the Mic King) and Chum (f/k/a Chum the Skrilla Guerilla), now holds a permanent spot in my iTunes library. In what will hopefully be the first of many releases by Cool Aide, “Flavor Ade” starts with “Snake Oil”, a track that wastes little time before hitting the ground running with a fun, upbeat feel…and even a mention of Cobra Commander!

“Gimme Some Sugar” starts with smooth guitar before breaking into the rhythm of a traditional hip-hop track. The men of Cool Aide then make sure not to take themselves too seriously with the all-but-serious “I’m the Best Mayne”, a song that would fit right in place on a track list for EA Sports’ NBA Live.

My personal favorite, “About Time”, combines the energy essential to drive a hip-hop track. What put this track above the rest for me was the incorporation of drums beating away throughout the song, replacing the sometimes-overused bass lines that make their way through rap and hip-hop. Lead guitar featuring a Jimi Hendrix-like wah-wah pedal was the finishing touch for a song that left me thoroughly satisfied.

“Take Steps” is a great dance number that can be described in three words: fast, wordy, aggressive. “Run For Your Life” ranked near the top as well, with a horn section that kept me interested and energized. While somewhat repetitive, the catchy chorus and verses contained great lyrics, making that repetition less of an issue.

“Wordperfect” felt all-too generic when it started, but strong instrumental work brought this tune to life…definitely a song that got better as it went on. “I’m All That in 2009” gave the boys another chance to show their sense of humor. A reference made to Will Smith was all too ironic in a song that sounded like something Will Smith could have written once upon a time, that is if Will Smith was a good enough rapper to write such a tune, which he wasn’t.

“Kind of A Woman” brought solid energy, singing, and a great chorus—all in all a great way to finish up the album.

I found Cool Aide’s “Flavor Ade” to be refreshing, which can be hard to find in hip-hop these days. Here’s a tip: put in the CD, hit the play button. -

"Impose Magazine Flavor Ade Review"

Home » Bytes » Fresh Daily
Fresh Daily

By Blake Gillespie » Does your life lack pizzazz and flavor? Rapper Icon the Mic King teamed up with producer Chum to give you what you need most: Flavor Ade.
Icon the Mic King and Chum are Cool-Aide

No, it's not an album featuring the big pitcher guy rapping "ohh yeaaahs" on the hooks. It's a record by hip hop's most persistent self-promoter, marathon runner and self-proclaimed Best Rapper Ever Icon the Mic King (Seriously, google "best rapper ever" and watch his name pop up. He went that far with it.). Working with producer Chum under the group moniker Cool-Aide, Flavor Ade is a 11 individual sugar packets that will have you straight buzzing and swearing off Sunny D.

Take "Neo Jack Swing" that features Icon and Chum reviving the energetic 90s style by flipping Ice Cube's profound anti-new jack statement, "You can New Jack swing on my nuts." Icon claims he and Chum are the modern day Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff and the comparison is legitimate. Front to back Flavor Ade recalls simpler times in hip hop when shit was fun and you could still sample Rick James. Flavor Ade features guest appearances by Slug of Atmosphere, Elzhi and Has-Lo. - Impose Magazine

"This is Book's Music Flavor Ade Review"

Icon The Mic King is someone who I’ve been following for a long time, and now as he simplifies his name to be the appropriate Mic King (his real name is Michael King, so maybe this was meant to be). With slight moniker modification, it definitely does not signify simplicity in his writing, style, and execution of his rhymes. He teams up with producer Chum (known to some as The Skrilla Guerilla) for a great album called Flavor Ade, and this is an example of someone who is showing how confident he is in his own shoes.

Some rappers will choose to rap two ways: have a cocky attitude that is meant to represent fake gangsterism, and then a mock romantic attitude that is nothing more than a lure to bring ladies into their realm. Maybe it’s a facade that some people enjoy, but Mic King plays a different role in “Gimme Some Sugar”, or at least, his swagger here is mixed in with a bit of humor that isn’t often heard in other rappers who talk the talk, but little else is happening. “I’m The Best Mayne” has him trying to talk about his chain dangling in a Lil’ Wayne manner, but the singer (a self-proclaimed “Robot Boy”) that does his thing with Auto-Tune sounds like what would happen if you got someone who was not only off-key, but off-tempo, and turned him into a star. It could be parody or mockery, but it works, with the power of Greyskull.

Throughout the album, Mic King and Chum go from modern hip-hop tomfoolery to early 90’s new jack celebration, to exploring some of the more appreciated hip-hop sounds of the last decade. This makes sense since that’s what he was raised on, but then get into the album’s last track, “Kind Of Woman”. He does a few lines and verses in double time, and it’s as if he knows he can do other styles with his eyes closed, and this is on the next level shit. Not only that, but his speedy delivery here not only sounds good, but he’s making sense, it’s not the hip-hop equivalent of Al Jarreau or Bobby McFerrin where all he’s doing is saying “I got the business, doopidi doopii, doo, dearrwww dearrwww.” Mic King is a no-bullshit rapper who isn’t afraid to shine the spotlight on the bullshit in the music, as if to say “this is what you’re loving, I got something a lot more satisfying.” With Elzhi of Slum Village helping out in the string-ridden “Wordperfect”, and Slug of Atmosphere dropping an inspiring verse in “Snake Oil”, Mic King shows he is nothing more than a missionary on a mission who is in a position to go deep, while looking at you directly in the eye. He’s not a doggie style rapper, and Chum is not a doggie style producer, his samples and basslines are appropriate, the transitions in “Wordperfect” are award-worthy and I hope he gets recognized for that alone. -


iCON the Mic King & Chum - Mike and the Fatman LP
MiC K!NG & Chum - Flavor Ade



There’s a popular misconception that artists who are dead serious about their craft have no choice but to make music that’s just as dead serious. Conversely, hip hop music that isn’t afraid to laugh at itself all too often gets misconstrued as the work of amateurs.

In a time when the game is so stiff that nine out of ten doctors would diagnose hip hop with rigor mortis, underground workhorses MiC K!NG (f/k/a iCON the Mic King) and Chum (f/k/a Chum the Skrilla Guerilla) have once again teamed together to smash all preconceived notions under the guise of their newly christened duo Cool-Aide’s debut project, Flavor Ade.

As the precursor to their forthcoming self-titled album, Flavor Ade finds the duo abandoning the sound of their first collaborative effort, Mike and The Fat Man LP, and creating the kind of record they always wanted to make…but swore they wouldn’t. “We made a record we don’t like,” MiC K!NG jokes. “We started off making another record in that same straight, evil, dark hip hop vein, but then we went and did the exact opposite. This is party music.”

“I’m a DJ who makes beats, so it made sense for me to make beats that were more in the direction of the records that I play at parties – and if I want to get people dancing, I rarely play hip hop,” says Chum. “This record is more musical. It’s not super underground for the 10 people who are into that style.”

While neither half of Cool-Aide is a new-jack by any means, Flavor Ade is bursting at the seams with an exuberance that feels like the start of a new beginning. Channeling the skills he honed throughout the years as a champion battle rapper and mind-boggling live performer, MiC K!NG effortlessly demonstrates his verbal gymnastics throughout the record, making it pretty damn difficult to dispute his self-designated title of “Best Rapper Ever."

As fans of his work as head producer for CT crew Demigodz will attest to, Chum is no slouch on the beats, either. Powered by his deftly versatile production that runs the gamut from boom bap to synth-addled house to new jack swing (yep, that’s right, new jack swing), the duo speeds through an lively rollercoaster of genre-shifting, up-tempo madness, without ever sounding out of their element. And they’re joined by a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the underground, with guest appearances by Slug of Atmosphere, Slum Village’s elZHi, and Philadelphia’s best kept secret, Has-Lo.

From the tongue-in-cheek swagger anthem “I’m The Best Mayne” to the party-friendly “Neo Jack Swing” to the motivational horn-heavy soul of “Run For Your Life” (which also served as the soundtrack to the half-marathon that MiC K!NG ran earlier this year for Crohn’s and Colitis), Flavor Ade is the sound of hip hop returning to its essence, to a time when the vibe of the party was equally important to what transpired inside the booth or onstage .

“A lot of live shows have that middle school dance mentality, with everybody standing there with their arms crossed. But Chum and I are never afraid of being the first idiots on the dancefloor to make the party pop off,” MiC K!NG says. “That’s the element that we brought to the music. A lot of rappers started off as being space/sci-fi rappers, or real technical, and now they’re scared to evolve. We’re not scared. Flavor Ade is more dynamic, more fun, and it’s just good music.”

It’s a rare feat when someone can demonstrate impeccable skill while making it look breezily easy – with their powers combined as Cool-Aide, Chum and MiC K!NG are cool enough to actually pull it off.