*Good news for fans of the high-top fade and the funky Charleston. Kid and Play have reunited with plans on resurrecting hip-hop’s golden era party vibe at a concert venue near you.
The re-teaming of Christopher “Kid” Reid and Christopher “Play” Martin comes more than a decade since the duo rode a wave of popularity in the late ’80s and early ’90s with rap classics such as “Rollin’ with Kid ‘n Play,” “Gettin’ Funky,” “Do This My Way,” “Funhouse,” and “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody.”
In addition to music, the Kid ‘n Play found success with their own on the big and small screen with the “House Party” movie trilogy, the film “Class Act” and the NBC Saturday morning cartoon series, “Kid ‘n Play.” A brief alliance with Marvel Comics resulted in a comic book based on the animated show in 1992.
Despite the long hiatus, Reid feels the timing couldn’t be better for Kid ‘n Play to reintroduce themselves to old fans while garnering new fans.
“We actually jumpin’ back out there, my old partner Play and myself,” the entertainer shared with EURweb’s Lee Bailey at a recent party for LisaRaye’s new TV One reality series. “…we kind of felt that it was the right time and we like the energy out there. The public kind of let us know that they might be receptive to something like this. So we’re gonna go and have fun.”
Kid ‘n Play fans will be able to see the pair live when they hit the road for an upcoming tour this summer. The outing is slated to kick off June 25 in Detroit and continue with performances scheduled throughout July and August.
“We’re doing a bunch of touring dates this summer. We’ll be joined by groups like Full Force, Lisa Lisa, Montell Jordan,” Reid revealed. “Right now, they’re up to at least 20 and I think they’re trying to go 30 and beyond. It’s actually been encouraging. It seems to be kind of picking up momentum. We got some dates back East. I know we got one in Connecticut. And then we’re gonna do that Tom Joyner cruise. So that will be one of the kick off joints.”
The Kid ‘n Play reunion tour comes as a natural development after blazing individual paths outside the rap arena. Reid established a second career as an actor and stand-up comedian, while Martin ventured into the world of holy hip-hop after becoming a born-again Christian and moving to North Carolina, where he became a professor at North Carolina Central University and founded the multimedia company, HP4 Digital Works and online magazine, Brand Newz.
With their own lives firmly in place, thoughts of a reunion were not high on the list for Martin and Reid, who offered his own theory regarding the delay in hooking back up with Martin.
“I think there’s been various times when either one of us might not have been down for varying reasons. I don’t think it was anything personal. I think it was maybe just where we were at individually in life,” the entertainer said. “And I think we always trusted in the fact that we’d know when it was time to kinda get together. The cosmos would tell us. And so it feels right now. So you know we’re gettin’ the band back together. We’re loadin’ up the Ben Gay and Grecian formula and we’re gonna git ‘er done. [Laughs]”
“It’s just cool. We’ve been appearing at places together and hangin’ out. We’ve been having a blast,” continued Reid, who confessed that being back with Martin “feels very comfortable.” “It feels very natural and it feels like a lot of fun to this point.”
The Kid ‘n Play reunion isn’t the only high point for Reid and Martin. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the first “House Party” movie. The movie not only launched Kid ‘n Play’s foray into film but also featured comedian Martin Lawrence and actress Tisha Campbell-Martin before they became household names on Lawrence’s hit sitcom, “Martin.”
One of the reasons behind the success of “House Party,” Reid believes, was the genuine relationship between him and his rhyme partner Martin and how their real-life personas translated onscreen.
“We grew up around the corner from each other. We came already packaged. I tell people we sold a million records before we ever made a movie…We were already like that. We danced like that. I looked like that. And that’s the thing. I think that’s was one of the reasons why the movie was successful,” Reid explained. “I think people kind of felt like it was organic, like these guys weren’t put together because we go way back.”
With the upcoming tour, the big question is whether or not Kid ‘n Play can still hit the moves they’re known for.
“Well this is what we gonna find out. This is why we running around the street like “Rocky” now tryin’ to get back into shape,” Reid stated while singing part of the theme from “Rocky” and referencing Sammy Davis Jr.’s knack for performing his trademark routines without a hint of stage rust. “We fashion a very high standard for ourselves over the years. We respect our audience enough and our standard is such that we’re not gonna come out there if it’s not gonna be hot. It’s gonna be hot.”
Dance moves aside, fans craving total nostalgia from Kid ‘n Play may also wonder if Reid will bring back his hi-top fade for the trek. After all, the hairstyle took on a life of its own, as it became the choice cut for many guys back in the day.
“Well that’s a whole ‘nother story. I hope ain’t nobody got their hearts set on that. We will be selling memorabilia Kid ‘n Play wigs at the merchandising table and Pajama Jammy Jam jammies and things of that nature,” a joking Reid said as he broke down the tour’s potential for success. “It’s one of those things. It’s very hard to compete with a younger version of yourself, but I just think that there’s a vibe out there right now with our audience that wants to kind of hearken back to, you know, that time when we was just having a lot more fun and maybe didn’t have as many responsibilities.
“So we’re very pleased with what’s been goin’ on to this point, the people that have been putting it together,” the entertainer added about his group’s desire to deliver a quality experience for concertgoers. “As long as it feels comfortable and it feels like we’re being creative and it’s something positive, then we’ll mess with it.”
Flashback: Check out Kid ‘N Play and the cast of “House Party” gettin’ their dance groove on: