The recipe for most successful music acts is usually composed of two major ingredients; the first being a solid, versatile performer with a loyal following, made clear from the rapport shown at live shows. The second being a producer (or producers) who can create a unique sound for the said performer, which helps to bring out their best material. If there’s one act which has almost fully grasped this secret are the duo composed of Chiddy and Xaphoon, better known as Chiddy Bang.
Similar to an old school DJ/Rapper pairing from the earlier days of rap, the Philadelphia outfit have thoroughly impressive since their rise to prominence in 2009, displaying a musical diversity which crosses far beyond the Hip Hop genre. Finally debuting their first studio album Breakfast aims to capture the full Chiddy Bang experience of musically in depth productions and rhymes tinged with a new school spirit.
The title track kicks off Breakfast with an anarchic, bumping opener which finds Chiddy having fun – spitting nonchalantly with much of his distinguished confidence. The duo’s debut album is set to draw a number of fans from different musical backgrounds due not only to their eclectic productions but also their patented style of effectively sampling a number of recognised hits.
Lead single “Ray Charles” goes back in time to the 1950′s as its piano led arrangement and Gospel vibes are effective in bringing to life the duo’s lyrical analogy of the legendary rhythm and blues performer in addition to honouring his musical legacy.
Indie rock act Walk The Moon‘s “Quesadilla” is cut up on “Handclaps and Guitars” whilst Icona Pop‘s vocals are used to great effect on the chirpy “Mind Your Manners”. These said tracks carry the same new-school-hipster spirit as Chiddy Bang’s previous hits “Opposite of Adults” and “Truth”; and regardless of such formula being followed for a majority of tracks, the diverse nature of Xaphoon’s instrumentals ensure the listening experience isn’t a drawn out one.
Chiddy plays the master of ceremonies role with much enthusiasm in his delivery in addition to owning a distinguishable commanding tone and flow. Hearing his exuberant verses on the good life, women and staying fresher than the rest, the animated Chiddy topples many of today’s performers when it comes to passion. The video game inspired “Whatever We Want” and the grand “Out 2 Space” (featuring the uncredited vocals of Ellie Goulding) boast not only the presence of Chiddy but also the multi layered productions of Xaphoon.
Content wise, Breakfast may seem unfulfilling. The braggish lifestyle professions and hedonistic vibes get tenuous at times, and even on the harder offerings on “4th Quarter” the basic sports references are passable. Also with the constant mixing of genres and styles, it was inevitable that one of the experiments would lead to something unwanted. The VV Brown-featured “Happening” is an ultra poppy affair, which loses both the Hip Hop and indie edge, resulting in a mediocre affair for mainstream recognition.
Although debuting a couple years ago, Chiddy Bang have managed to save a number of tricks and skills for their debut album, in which its end product is a fun, whirlwind adventure, delving into many musical boundaries and breaking away from played out cliches. Both Chiddy and Xaphoon shine in their respective fields, truly displaying a care and effort in perfecting their craft. With enough singles which are destined to be favourites on the live circuit, Breakfast cooks up a healthy mix of commercial hooks, old school tributes and sonically diverse beats to ensure that many will be back for second servings.