Rap music’s origins were block parties in New York City. According to NPR, DJs started taking out the percussion lines from songs in the punk, disco, and soul genres and made them longer. Since they were the ones who kept the audience entertained during breaks between acts, they started to talk and rhyme over these beats. This was the start of MCs, who soon became known as rappers. When this type of music first started, no one thought it would become a genre. In 1979, Rap started to become more than a fad. The Sugarhill Gang’s album Rapper’s Delight was released, followed by Kurtis Blow’s The Breaks in 1980. Over the years, the genre grew, but many people choose not to listen to it because the lyrics can be negative and littered with expletives. Many people don’t understand the art and style of rap because it’s dominated by situations they don’t understand. However, beyond many of the negative stereotypes associated with rap, each song contains a story.
Making rap positive
The members of Kid N’ Play first met during a performance between two high schools. Kid is Christopher Reid, and Play is Christopher Martin. Saturday Christophers teamed up as Fresh Force managed by Play’s former bandmate Hurby “Luv Bug” Azor. Kid ‘N Play tried to change Rap’s negative image in 1988 when they released their platinum album 2 Hype. Later, they took their talent to Saturday Morning Cartoons. They starred in several movies because the y had an image that wasn’t what people typically see in Rap music. The group’s last album was a flop because people no longer responded to their take on rap music. They ended up overshadowed by the gangster rap scene of the early 90s.
After the group
Kid ‘N Plays image was tarnished in 2011 when Christopher “Kid” Reid was arrested for evading arrest on multiple DUI counts. He tried to deny the charges saying it was a clerical error. The former 80s rapper wanted to settle with counseling and fines by pleading no contest. However, he later received three years of probation and fines. In 2017, the duo briefly reunited. The headlined the fifth annual Hip Hop Family Day in Columbia, South Carolina. The same year, they also did a show at the Wisconsin Stater Fair. The pair joined Tone Loc, All-4-One, and Vanilla Ice for a brief tour. Yet, they never went back to the studio.
In 2020, Christopher “Play” Martin reminisced about the group’s short-lived success in an article with blackdoctor.org. In the article, he talked about his aspirations growing up in Jamaica Queens, New York. All he wanted to do was “make it,” but he didn’t consider the bigger picture, only that he wanted to be known. Once Kid ‘N Play achieved success franchising merchandise, starring in cartoons and recording albums, the singer still felt like something was missing. He realized that only his Higher Power could fill everything and that he still needed to do a lot of growing up. Currently, he is a Professional in Residence at Florida A&M University in the Music Industry and HIp Hop and development content in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.
The third member
Kid ‘N Play success story has been written as two rappers from New York who wanted to add positivity to the genre. Recently, Christoper “Play” Martin revealed there was once a third member of the iconic group. From hiphopdx.com, the rapper talked about a few of his early projects QuickSilver and Superlovers. Additionally, he revealed a third group member, calling him Jerome but mentioning his nickname was Romeo. Jerome “Romeo” Jones is best known as a founding member of the R&B group immature along with Marques “Batman” Houston and Kelton “LDB” Kessee. The group’s manager was Chris Stokes. After the group released four mainstream albums, they stepped down from the spotlight and released two additional albums. Romeo also stars in the third and fourth installment of the House Party franchise. Although Romeo was only a part of Play’s first project QuickSilver and Kid ‘N Play manager Hurby Love Bug, he considers him an honorary member of the group that made him famous. It was through this group that he met Christopher Reid.
This isn’t the only instance lately when Christopher “Play” Martin has taken a trip down memory lane. According to newyork.cbslocal.com, he recently released a documentary called AndiDanced about the Hip-Hop and R&B music scene from his childhood. He spoke to DJ Sixsmith about how he and Christopher “Kid” Reid became the famous group. He spoke about how hanging out with friends and making music was a release from all the things in the neighborhood. During the late 80s and early 90s, there weren’t any after-school programs in Jamacia Queens, New York; so many kids found unorthodox ways of dealing with the stress. At the time, it was a way to meet girls and dream about being famous. He revealed that music has always been a form of holy communion. Play went through numerous musical incarnations, eventually teaming up with Jerome “Romeo” Jones and Christopher “Kid” Reid. When they met the Hudlin Brothers, the trio split into a duo, the first step to his career.
In an interview with Oprah, she mentions the three cultural impacts the group had. The House Party movie opened the door for more Hip-Hop artists to do movies. Christopher “Kid” Reid started the Kid ‘N Play Dance where two people knock their foot against each other instead of dancing alone. He also inspired his fans to get the famous fade he kept through most Kid ‘N Plays early careers.