While Clipping released their debut album for Sub Pop in June, I didn’t get an advance for it nor did I get a copy of the album from the label or a publicity agent. Of course, I’ve had the album with me for four months and while it would be preferred to review the album within the first two weeks of its release in order to have more people buy it, I delayed it only because I always get loads of other albums to review. That might lead some to say “wait now: are you talking about wanting to review this album and yet you didn’t bother to put everything else on the side and just make Clipping. a top priority?” It’s not exactly like that even though it may seem like it but the point is, four months after its release and five months after other journalists received their copies, I am now going to review the group’s debut album, CLPPNG.
If you are like me and got into Clipping. because of the heavily noisy instrumental textures, you might listen to some of these songs and say “wait now: these tracks are actually nice sounding.” That will lead me to ask you this: what’s wrong with being nice? If you got into Clipping. due to how funky and laid back their music gets in a fashion that may make you put this on while cruising on the streets, you might listen to some of these songs and say “wait now: some of these songs are just way too noisy for me. What’s going on?” What this album does is evenly blends the crunk grooves with the chaotic eccentricities they’re able to have and include in their music because they can. Blame part of the attitude of Clipping to MC Daveed Diggs, who rhymes in a number of styles because he refuses to be stagnant at any time of the day. It’s safe to say that even when he dreams, he’s writing in pamphlet form. Blame part of the attitude of Clipping to William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes, who have created some demented music in their pasts. If you know of Captain Ahab and Necklacing, then you had a slight sense of what they’re capable of doing and why they make the music they do within Clipping. No one is making music like this, in any genre and in hip-hop, they come off like aliens who are landing on Earth to show what they’ve learned from your planet, and present themselves making sounds that sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard and everything you’ve missed throughout your life. The stories told by Diggs may be abstract at first as if he’s Kool Keith or Cappadonna, but pay attention closely and what you’ll hear are tales that you may have heard from someone at the post office, at the supermarket, the bus stop, or someone in the restroom who has the urge to freestyle everywhere he roams. The point is, CLPPNG is very much an intense listen because they crafted it that way, meant to sound normal for some but also meant to come off like something made in the future that traveled to this time period, as a way to warn you of what’s to come. It’s coded music to tell you to not ignore the goodness of modern times, as they will not be around when the future comes around, which will arrive much quicker than we’d expect it to.