Coolout Chris was a member of pioneering 90s Chicago group Spalaneys, we just recently detailed a bit of their history in our Tony Baines feature.
In Spalaneys, Coolout Chris was a key lyricist and contributed heavily to the production as well. When Spalaneys dissolved as a group, he focused his energy into building his own enterprise with Urbanized Music and Beat Quarters Productions, two ventures he is still running strong to date.
Over the years he has remained busy doing production and collaborations for S.P.O, Ang 13, Profound, Kevin Coval, Tall Black guy, Maintain, The Opus, Amina, and many others.
Beyond just making quality music, Coolout Chris is involved in giving back to the Chicago Hip Hop Community as well and as a member of the "Chicago Hip Hop Initiative" got the month of July approved as Chicago Hip Hop Heritage Month in the city, going on it's 8th year!
As an MC, the name Coolout Chris might seem deceiving, particularly in the Spalaneys days. He was always spitting swift intricate flows with plenty of shock value punchlines. I suppose the name was more a plea, as in asking him to Coolout, because he was trying to hurt em! Over time the flow has gotten a bit more laid back, in comparison, but the presence is as commanding as ever.
In our two-part interview, he outlines his full career leading up to his latest ventures:
Spalaneys-Universal Language [Talent Investment Compilation '95]:
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/06-Universal-Language.mp3|titles=06 Universal Language]
Spalaneys-Switchblade [Produced by The Opus]: Seeing this joint live at Elbo Room is forever
engrained in my memory!
S.P.O-Self Mission [Produced By Coolout Chris]: I always recognize this is S.P.O's first solo demo after he left
Rubberoom. It had two Coolout Chris produced tracks, this and "Black Widow", both excellent. Coolout drops the rugged beats
and S.P.O...well, goes for self. That last verse is pretty bonkers with him using all the names and song titles from "Talent
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/02-Self-Mission.mp3|titles=02 Self Mission]
Coolout Chris Solo Demo: I got this from him circa '99/'00 I think? It was the first solo project I ever got from him post-Spalaneys with two joints, "Filter Out The Weak" and "Step Up".
Filter Out The Weak:
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/02-Filter-Out-The-Weak.mp3|titles=02 Filter Out The Weak]
Coolout Chris-Step Up featuring Tony Baines:
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/01-Step-Up-featuring-Tony-Baines.mp3|titles=01 Step Up featuring Tony Baines]
Spalaneys-Spontaneous: This is a 2001 joint that was recorded after Tony Baines wasn't in the group:
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/05-Spontaneous-1.mp3|titles=05 Spontaneous 1]
Profound-Sunshine: A joint Coolout Chris produced for Profound circa 2005.
Urbanized Music Sampler 2007: Got this from Coolout a few years back. It's a sampler showing the diversity of the
Urabanized Music team. Here's two of the Coolout Chris joints!
Ghetto It's Real (Snippet)
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/08-Ghetto-Its-Real.mp3|titles=08 Ghetto It's Real]
L.E.G.A.C.Y-Underworld Remix: Coolout Chris did this remix in '09, but it didn't officially drop till this year on
a L.E.G.A.C.Y mixtape in conjunction with Kevin Nottingham.
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Underworld-Remix-L.E.G.A.C.Y-Prod.-By-Coolout-Chris.mp3|titles=Underworld Remix L.E.G.A.C.Y Prod. By Coolout Chris]
Noble MC-Phenomenal: Coolout Chris, along with Amina and Ang 13, had the amazing opportunity and experience to go to West Africa to do workshops and shows in Abidjan Cote Di'Voire. They filmed a movie about it. Definitely check it
out here: Keepitmovingthemove.com. Coolout Chris connected with Noble MC while was out there and are now working on lots of music!
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/NOBLE-PHENOMENAL-MASTER-MIX.mp3|titles=NOBLE PHENOMENAL MASTER MIX]
Written, Interviewed & Compiled by Kevin Beacham