We can all breathe now that Chiddy Bang is back from disappearing for quite some time. It feels like ages ago that we all became familiar with the talented hip hop-beat making duo but it feels like only the beginning. They’re currently prepping for a big tour this fall with Timeflies and also have a new mixtape coming out titled Baggage Claim. “Breathe” is the first track off of it and it’s definitely a calmer side of Chiddy Bang. Nothing wrong with a chill tune though, right?
Update: It has come to our attention that Chiddy Bang now consists solely of Chiddy. Xaphoon Jones has left the duo. He put out a message to this public that said the following:
Dear friends and family, after a large amount of traveling, and a lot of fun, and about 3 years – it is time that I resign from the hip-hop duo that I was a part of.
I stopped playing in Chiddy’s live shows last November, so if you go to a show, and don’t see me, don’t be confused! I’m elsewhere, where I am happiest: In the studio.
I will continue to be producing tons and tons of music for other people, and hopefully you guys will continue to enjoy it.
Huge thank you to anyone who came to a show or downloaded a song.
I was in the middle of watching Jimmy Fallon’s discussion with Chris Hardwick at the Paley Center when I got a text. In the videos (which can be viewed here), Jimmy Fallon discusses how he came up in the comedy world–throughout the interview, he never once sounded pompous or arrogant; instead, he was his usual, charismatic self, filled with pride and excitement and a healthy dose of self-effacement. Well, the text was from Hoodie Allen. He wanted me to review his new free album Crew Cuts, which was coming out at noon. In his text, he said he wanted me to absorb the music and feel no pressure to have a review out by noon. Of course, I’m doing the exact opposite, but that’s not the point. Hoodie wanted feedback–genuine, good ol’ fashioned feedback.
A lot can be written about Hoodie Allen, the rapper: how he has removed the boundary between himself and his fans on Twitter, how his EP reached #1 on iTunes completely independently, how he does not exactly look like your stereotypical rapper, etc. Whatever. What about Hoodie Allen, the man? On Crew Cuts, it becomes abundantly clear who Hoodie Allen is.
If you look at this free album as a whole, you see two versions of Hoodie and where they overlap. There’s the carefree, “lady killer” Hoodie heard in the lead singles “Cake Boy” and “Fame Is For Assholes.” Then, there’s the more serious, reminiscent Hoodie found on album highlights “Let Me Be Me” and “Good Intentions.” Finally, there’s the overlap, where Hoodie deals with a fame complex, a chronic issue of my generation. That is, balancing the want and need and drive to be famous and the pains of moving past the excitement of the struggle and adventure and naiveté of young adulthood.
“Where Do We Go Now” is perhaps the best example of the overlap. It ebbs and flows through clever jabs at Al Pacino (Hoodie’s biggest fan), a shout out to super-producer/international superstar Brenton Duvall, and an extended Full House reference that had me laughing out loud at first listen, along with a narrative about his youth and general come up. It’s perhaps most fitting that such a well-rounded song brings the album full circle. On Crew Cuts, Hoodie takes the listener into his life: shows them the tour life, shows them the writing process, shows them the nights out, shows them his friends, shows them his family–much like he’s done his entire career. And he’s still grinding. He’s still responding to thousands of fans every day on Twitter and shows no signs of stopping. Throughout all of the late nights in the studio and extended metaphors, Hoodie has remained humble and prideful and maybe most importantly, excited throughout. He is the rap game Jimmy Fallon. Now, shit I have to go to class.
Chiddy Bang. And they’re pretty much amazing.
Recently, I wrote an article about what I thought makes the best possible album an artist can make. I’m applying that article to this review.
Xaphoon Jones and Chiddy are quite the duo. Xaphoon has made a name for himself by sampling anything and everything and being recognized as one of the best producers in today’s music game. Chiddy has established himself as a serious spitter when he broke the Guinness World Record for Longest Freestyle Rap ,as well as, the Longest Marathon Rapping Record (9 hours and 18 minutes). Yes, I sat, and watched him do it live for a few of the hours. It was nuts. He made it seem like freestyling was as easy as stealing “breakfast” from a baby.
# of Tracks:
As stated before, removing the Intro & Interlude leaves us at 12 actual songs. There’s no overkill on the amount of tracks as the 12 that made their debut, are the ones that are their best (clearing samples, of course). Plus, we all have attention spans of two year olds so quality > quantity.
I’m not sure if Chiddy Bang actually had Icona Pop come in the studio and work with them for “Mind Ya Manners,” but Shirazi, and Gordon Voidwell (I think) sound like they actually worked with them. The features are kept to a minimal, which makes Chiddy’s verses stand out even more.
Not really thematic, but you can argue that “Breakfast” symbolizes the first meal for them in the “industry.” This is their first taste of going big time.
If you keep up with the blog game, “Baby Roulette,” “Mind Ya Manners,” & “Ray Charles” are the only songs we actually knew about. All three are solid tracks as there appears to be a pattern going on here. Dope samples, catchy choruses, awesome production, and complimentary verses.
A few tracks to point out though:
Ray Charles: Not my personal favorite for the fact that he swagger jacked Hoodie Allen’s “James Franco.” I think Lydia is the one who spotted it, but sadly, it’s true.
4th Quarter: Sounds like it was inspired by LeBron James’ lack of talent in the fourth quarter, and Chiddy & Xaphoon were like fuck it, we got the clutch gene! #LeBronsFault
Does She Love Me: I don’t think we’ve ever seen this side of Chiddy before. Does he have #WhiteGirlProblems too?
“I will take her on a date/To a nice restuarant, but I got too much on my plate/Said I’m here for a day she hit me three hours late/Found out I left the city bet she had the sour face/Told I would kick it with her whenever I return/But that was based on the premise that she was my concern.” – Swag.
Out 2 Space: Xaphoon’s person favorite according to his Twitter.
My Personal Favorites: Handclaps & Guitars, Happening, Mind Ya Manners
Each song was rated out of five stars on two separate listening sessions. I took the average of both scores and subtracted 1 for the swagger jacking of Hoodie Allen.
“Breakfast” is 12 songs (excluding Intro & Interlude) with minimal features, showcasing production and lyrical talent, with somewhat of a theme going on. I like that. This is a fun ass album from start to finish and this is a solid debut from the duo. Do I think this is the best effort they could of given? No, because it sounds too similar to their mixtapes. Honestly, once WZRD drops, this will be lucky to get any airtime in my rotation. Still, this is the usual Chiddy Bang music so grab a plate and join in on the fun!
Oh shit. It didn’t seem like too long ago when Chiddy Bang was still the blogs’ best kept secret. You know, back when they were just Pretty Much Amazing. Fast forward to today–after up and leaving college and dropping a few mixtapes–and they have finally released their debut album, Breakfast. Honestly, there isn’t much else to be said. Go cop that on iTunes. Now. Alright, fine. Peep a couple tracks below, including my Xaphoon’s personal fav.
I HOPE YOU LIKE TRACK 8 THAT IS MY SHIT
— Noah B (Chiddy Bang) (@XaphoonJones) February 21, 2012
BONUS: This jam isn’t on the album but the homeboys made a video for us anyway. Dope!
Some more mixtape material from Chiddy Bang as they’re prepping for their release of Breakfast on February 28th…so what way to do this then by grabbing a plate first? See what I did there?
I’ve always found the week after the Super Bowl somewhat bland. I mean, the Super Bowl is such a climax for much of the sports world, and anything that comes after it just doesn’t seem as exciting or big. But boy, basketball took that notion and was like, “sorry, I’m not sorry” this week.
First of all, this Jeremy Lin kid is legit, no? Alright, yeah I never followed him before this week either, but how could you not respect a great underdog story? From undrafted to starting point guard in Madison Square Garden, aka the mecca of professional basketball. That’s fucking awesome. I’m looking forward to tonight’s matchup between him and the Lakers. #Linsanity #SuperLintendo #Linning
Then, there was the already classic battle in college ball between UNC and Lydia’s alma mater, Duke. Austin Rivers was so clutch. See Lydia’s reaction below.
— Lydia Simmons (@SunsetRearview) February 9, 2012
So, here’s a toast to a great week of sports and hopefully an even better weekend for the rest of us non-professional athletes. What’s everybody up to?
1. “Bad Girls (Barbaric Merits ChainBangin Remix)” – M.I.A.
2. “Move Up (Wiz Khalifa x Phantogram)” – The Hood Internet
3. “Paris (DOCO Dubstep Remix)” – Kanye West & Jay-Z
4. “Make You Pop” – Diplo & Don Diablo
5. “Marvin & Chardonnay (Chiddy Bang Cover)” – Big Sean
It’s super cray that January is almost over. I guess time waits for no man (or woman), right? At least we’re that much closer to the Spring. I don’t have much to say this Friday, as I really don’t have any big plans for the weekend. What’s everybody up to? What do you guys typically do when the school/work week is over (besides listen to these jams)? I wanna know!
1. “Heartbeat (Treasure Fingers Remix)” – Childish Gambino
2. “Silence” – KillaGraham
3. “On’n’on (Rick Rubin Remix)” – Justice
4. “Ray Charles (Skeet Skeet Moombahton Remix)”- Chiddy Bang
5. “We Must Go On” – Pretty Lights
What a wonderful day it is. Blue Ivy Carter (not Ivy Blue, according to my sources) was born. Hopefully she gets Beyonce’s gene pool. I’ve also been packing to head back to school and I had some time to kill, so therefore this post. If you’re at Miami (of Ohio) and reading this, I’ll see you at New Bar.
I’ve been giving 2AM Club a chance to impress me lately, as you should too, and I must say I like what I’m hearing. Quite easy on the ears and they recruited Chiddy for some bars to remix their song, “Every Evening.” 2/2 as of recent as this is another solid joint, in addition to the previously released, “Tell Her Hi.”
Drexel dropouts Chidera and Noah just released a cut from their much anticipated debut, Breakfast. “Ray Charles” is an upbeat, funky and soulful nod to late great pianist and singer of the same name. Is it just me or did Chiddy switch up his flow on this one? Breakfast comes out in February.
Put your shit down, and listen up, you goons. Shit just got real. Xaphoon Jones has released an instrumental. Go at it, you music mixers with your shitty quality DIY Kanye acapellas and lazy ass beats. Rap over this, you dorm room rappers with your hopes and dreams and ignorance. But really, try rhyming this time. Think some. Be clever.
Sorry I’m being so negative.
Bonus track for the negativity. Xaph remixes Kidz in the Hall. Turn the bass up.
These should last us until Breakfast. In the meantime, mind your manners.
Shout out to Pretty Much Amazing. They’re killing it over there.
Arjun || Twitter
My life was changed forever when I watched Conan O’Brien give the commencement address at Dartmouth’s graduation earlier this year. The speech gave me a new perspective on life and hope for the future. He said things that I knew I already knew but was afraid to admit. We were growing up. We were becoming “adults”. It’s scary. He ended the speech by quoting himself from months prior when he had to say goodbye to his dream job; he said, “Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.”
Of course, I wasn’t in the crowd that day. I watched Coco’s speech on the Internet a few weeks later. I’m in high school. Fuck you.
My name is Arjun. I’m a new writer here at Sunset in the Rearview. I am definitely less “edgy” than that introduction made me seem to be. I plan on just consistently giving you guys good music, while keeping you on your toes and entertained.
The fun train is leaving the station. Hop on.
My first musical memory was jumping on the sofa with my brother, listening to “What’s New Pussy Cat?” by Tom Jones. Looking back, the song seems pretty loaded with blatant sexism, but hey, it was my dad’s jam. Why it was his jam is beyond me, but pops probably had a good reason for playing it. This is also why I call all women “pussycats”.
At the turn of the millennium, I made a pretty drastic jump from Tom Jones to Marshall Mathers. Of course, I was 7 around this time, so I was listening to Eminem WAY younger than anybody should be allowed to listen to Eminem. Don’t blame my parents, though. They tried to stop my brother and I from downloading his songs. They just couldn’t. Shady was calling out to us…and so was Napster.
After Napster, I turned to iTunes. This is where I got my first real glimpse at “indie” music. I really got into The Kooks, Death Cab for Cutie, Beirut, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, and a handful of Jack Johnson knockoffs. One of my favorite songs ever also came from these iTunes years.
MP3: “1980” – Rehab
It was only last summer that I discovered the magic of the music blog. Before then, I just thought “blog” was a funny word. It still is. I don’t like it. It should be changed to something cooler. I don’t know what though. You guys…make it happen. Anyway, my first blog was Pretty Much Amazing. It was there I discovered some of my favorite artists, such as Childish Gambino, The Drums, and Chiddy Bang.
In the past year, my blog roll has grown drastically and has given me the greatest and strangest music of my life. Here are just a few of my favorites.
Oh, and here’s Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend rapping.