When you encounter something that's truly refreshing, it can become intoxicating. Countless amount of times an individual will see, read, or hear some variation of the word "original" by a plethora of rappers. But when The Cool Kids were born in 2007, that's what they truly were—two young kids who looked like they were born a couple of decades too early, finding a niche and thriving in it. Powered by a drum machine and their bold fashion, Sir Michael Rocks and Chuck Inglish, two young whippersnappers from the Midwest, had hip-hop's underground at full attention. Then without notice, they broke up.

Though their friendship never ended, The Cool Kids were no more, and fans were left scratching their heads. Throughout the time since the split, however, Michael and Chuck honed their crafts, worked on solo projects and grew up, not only as artists, but as men. When news broke that a new Cool Kids project was on the way, it not only delighted the fans, but also peers like Tyler, The Creator, who took to Twitter to show his excitement. XXL got Michael and Chuck on the phone to discuss their upcoming album, titled Shark Week, people biting their style and what has changed since the split. —Emmanuel C.M. (@ECM_LP)

XXL: Why reunite now?
Sir Michael Rocks: 
Well, initially when me and Chuck created The Cool Kids back in '07, we came up with this plan to live by the Wu-Tang type of theory that they had. Wu-Tang had a big group, bunch of members, everybody broke off and did solo stuff, and then they came and did group stuff as well that was also super successful. We figured that in the beginning we had that conversation that we would start off as this group, do solo stuff and then when the time was right after and we felt it in our hearts, we'd link back up as The Cool Kids. People are ready for it. It has its own place in the ranks and it feels like a good time.

Chuck Inglish: We're just in a different place and time in life, and it was a part of us that just had to sit down for a second. We just did a lot. We went through a lot of shit together. So at that point in time, we saw each other as better friends then we were a group, so it was like, we don’t even want to do this right now. So two years later, we realized how much fun we had doing what we did. It made music fun. And for a while it wasn’t fun, so we figured out the recipe to keep the fun happening. And now it's better timing and people saw what we did before and people learned to respect it and it grew in value with time. We got more control on what we're doing now. We’re the only ones doing it. We drop songs when we want to. I have a solo situation, [Michael] has a solo situation. We just do what we do best that’s fun. So it alleviates a lot of creative stress on us.

Do people still need The Cool Kids?
I feel like the state of music right now is an open format. There are different looks now, different ways of handling your rap business and putting out music. Different ways of becoming a star. And it's only getting more and more like this. Which is a good thing to me. Now would be a good time to re-emerge with our original idea. I was 16 [when we started] and it was a lot for a 16-year-old to really handle. We were growing up in front of the world. We took our time to develop our sound and let shit breathe for a minute, because we came in and everybody started biting and it was just weird, man. We still have honor, we still have our values we came in with. So when people started biting a lot, it was like, okay, let's back off for a minute, let's throw them off our trail. We waited for the right time, now we're going to strike.