07 November 2010

Chiddy Bang, The Preview (2010): Album Review

Wiz Khalifa. Nicki Minaj. Sam Adams. All on the list of hip-hop’s most promising up-and-comers. Another name that should be added to the list is that of Chiddy Bang. The Philly-based hip-hop duo first gained fame the “old-fashioned” way—via songs featured on their MySpace page back in February of 2009. After releasing a mix tape, Chiddy Bang signed a record deal this past January and dropped their first single in April—a sample of MGMT’s “Kids” entitled “Opposite of Adults.” Now, they’ve released their first 8-track EP entitled The Preview and all I can say is, I cannot wait for their full-length album to drop next year.

“The Good Life” kicks off the record with a catchy, typical thug anthem that is sure to be played at pep rallies and cheerleading routines in the near future. The beat is simply infectious when they drop the first verse, and their lyrical prose is an absolute delight to listen to. “Truth” samples Passion Pit with a whimsical, trippy melody, where they reference everything from Bill Nye the Science Guy to the Empire State Building. The next tune spent many months on the Top 25 Most Played songs on my iTunes, and is honestly one of, if not the best remix I’ve ever heard. “Opposite of Adults” is a captivating boost of musical energy that I dare you to try and not get stuck in your head—or quote as a Facebook status like the legions of other young people that pop up on my newsfeed. This is the song that got me hooked on Chiddy in the first place, and is a true testament to their creativity as artists. They return to making their own original beats for “Here We Go” where they spit rhymes fast and mean, injecting a Latin flavor into the chorus as well. One lyrics states how “a hater tried to stop me on my way today” but honestly—I have no clue who could really hate them. Next up we have “All Things Go” which is by far my favorite tune on the album. Like “Opposite of Adults,” I heard this awhile ago, but never really got hooked until about a month ago. It’s currently the 8th most-played song on my computer, and for good reason. It’s a little slower than its musical predecessors, but is an expertly crafted song. It samples “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens—making the vocals much higher-pitched and creepy child-sounding. And who can’t love a song with creepy child vocals? And although it talks about how “we be Peter Parker in love with the Mary Jane,” it’s one of those tunes that just makes me stop to think and reexamine my life. No idea why. But I love all 3 minutes and 9 seconds of it. “Nothing On We” isn’t the most original or catchy song of the batch, but that is still in no way a bad thing. This is that song about chasing dreams that people raise their lighters to during a concert, and integrates some light piano amidst their powerful lyrics about how “the only thing guaranteed in life is a casket.” As depressing as that may seem, leave it to Chiddy Bang to present it with utmost sincerity and witty exposition. “Bad Day” has an almost angry-techno feel, and features an insanely catchy chorus that belts out how “every day should be a bad day for you.” Not since “F--- You” by Cee Lo Green have I enjoyed a snarky, light-hearted tune about exes so incredibly much. The EP sadly ends with “Old Ways,” which features a crazy and unique melody that is as thought provoking as it is contagious.

No rap artists in recent memory have the lyrical genius that Chiddy Bang possesses. There was not one weak link on The Preview, and I could see every single one of those songs racking up some major playtime on my iTunes in the near future. This weekend alone I’ve listened to the album all the way through at least 3 times. Watch out for Chiddy Bang—they’re going to be the hottest artists in hip-hop before you know it. So go out, buy their album, and rejoice in the fact that you’ll be one of the fortunate few that heard them first.

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