So I just got a press release about the comeback EP that Queens legend Kool G Rap is dropping next month, and it contains a sentence I never thought I’d read: “The single ‘On the Rise Again’ — produced by DJ Premier and feat. Haylie Duff on the hook is currently heating up airwaves and internet sites…” Aw, man, Kool G Rap’s classic crime stories plus Primo’s eternal boom-bap beats equals… wait, hold up — Haylie Duff?! The hardcore golden-age hip-hop purists who make up the bulk of G Rap’s fanbase probably fainted when they saw her name. (I mean, we’re talking about the less-famous half of a pair of Disney-approved siblings, for crying out loud!)
But here’s the thing: “On the Rise Again” is actually kinda good. (Check it out after the jump.) Sure enough, Premier comes through with one of his patented sweeping-strings/knocking-drums backdrops, and G Rap hits us with the same lyrical swagger that made him so influential in the ’80s and ’90s. And Haylie? Her hook is… well… not too painful to listen to. For starters, it’s only like a line and a half long, so there’s no time to start wondering what the hell she’s doing on a Kool G Rap song. (It actually sounds like it could be a sampled snippet of an earlier Duff song, though I can’t find any song with those lyrics.) And her thin vocals work as a nice contrast to G Rap’s weathered rasp.
addCredit(“Kool G. Rap: Michael Schreiber/Retna; Haylie Duff: Michael Schreiber/Retna”)
Besides, considering that I’ve already come cleanabout my Miley Cyrus fandom, I guess there’s no point concealing mylongtime appreciation for Haylie and Hilary Duff’s cover of “Our Lips Are Sealed.”So who am I to complain about this unexpected duet? What I’m reallywondering is whether any Haylie Duff fans out there will start gettinginto Kool G Rap’s back catalog if this single takes off — or viceversa. I sure hope so. Any of you care to join me in the middle of thisstrange pop-cultural Venn diagram?