Music » Critics' Picks

Kid 'N Play

7:30 p.m. Friday, July 2. The Chaifetz Arena, One South Compton Avenue.

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At a time when even commercial hip-hop had remarkable diversity, the squeaky-clean, kid-friendly music sub-genre known as "happy rap" was characterized by uptempo beats and cuss-free verses. The rap duo of Christopher "Kid" Reid and Christopher "Play" Martin (known to all as Kid 'N Play) exemplified this style. At the height of its popularity in the early '90s, the pair was everywhere. Non-offensive lyrics and stylish dance moves landed the men lead roles in several movies, their own Saturday morning cartoon and a short-lived Marvel comic-book series. Even though the group (and the genre) seemed to fade into obscurity as gangsta rap took over the airwaves, Kid 'N Play is still instantly recognizable as a rap icon — even without the ten-inch-tall flat-top hairdo.

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