Kid 'n Play

Sunday, 9pm, Lilac Stage

Among the first groups to tame rap's hardcore mentality into a positive, message-oriented music suitable for teens and mass audiences, Kid 'n Play recorded three albums together between 1988 and 1991: ''2 Hype'' (1988), ''Funhouse'' (1990), and ''Face the Nation (1991). All three albums focused on fun lyrics backed by hot friendly instrumental tracks. Among the group's most successful singles were 1989's "Rollin' with Kid 'n Play" that reached #11 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs ''Billboard'' R&B singles chart, 1990s "Funhouse" #1 on the Hot Rap Tracks ''Billboard'' rap singles chart, and "Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody" another #1 rap hit. The group's stage show highlighted their teen-friendly personalities, and dances such as their famous trademark Kid ’n Play Kick Step. Kid's visual trademark was his high-top fade haircut, which stood ten inches high at its peak. Martin the fella with the low top fade regularly wore unique custom made jackets.

 In addition to their music, Kid 'n Play starred together in four feature films, all of them based around Hip Hop cultured characters and themes. Three of the films are New Line Cinema’s House Party series. House Party was so incredibly successful that it gave birth to two sequels 'House Party 2' in 1991 and 'House Party 3' in 1994. The franchise launched and contributed to the careers of Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, AJ Johnson, Robin Harris, Bernie Mac, Chris Tucker, TLC, Queen Latifah and many more. ‘In 1992 Kid ’n Play was casted in the leading roles for Warner Bros’s hit feature “Class Act’’. For that film, Reid traded his trademark high top fade in for dreds instead. The haircut was used as a plot device in the film. Kid 'n Play even had their own NBC Saturday morning cartoon for one season from 1990 to 1991. On the show, Kid 'n Play were regressed to teenagers, but their recording careers remained intact, as did their comic personas. The real Kid 'n Play appeared in live-action wraparounds of the cartoons. The show stressed positive role models, teaching kids how to get along and stay out of trouble. A 1992 Marvel Comics comic book based on the cartoon lasted nine issues. They also shot some segments for the Public Broadcasting Service PBS math show ''Square One TV]' and ''Sesame Street'. 

After their work as a duo, Reid continued acting, guest starring in a number of television sitcoms, including “Full House” and “Sister, Sister”, and hosting shows such as ''It's Showtime at the Apollo'' and ''Your Big Break''. He is also responsible for the famous theme music for Maher’s HBO “Real Time” and the Martin Lawrence sitcom. Martin became a born-again Christian, and devoted his time to working on Christianbased hip-hop music projects. He eventually took his industry experience and founded Playground Solutionz, a multimedia company that provides pre- and post-production for film, digital, and live productions. Christopher is a celebrated, award-winning and self-taught documentarian, and founder of cutting-edge production company Playground Solutionz.