By Henry Tran
Enjoying much fanfare since their 2009 mixtape debut, The Swelly Express, hip-hop duo Chiddy Bang has become one of the most popular music groups due to smashing successes like “Opposite of Adults.” Rapper Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege and producer Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin recently released their first studio album, titled Breakfast.
The title track opens the album on a surprisingly low note, which takes less from Chiddy’s normally witty rhyming lyrics and instead has a bigger emphasis on the upbeat tracks laid down by Jones. The chorus offers little to the song other than just repeating lines like “Look at what you made us do” and “let’s have breakfast” that barely hold the whole thing together.
Although slow to start, the album quickly picks up. As “Breakfast” ends, party anthem “Handclaps and Guitars” begins and showcases Chiddy’s rhyming skills in a much more positive light.
Throughout the album, producer Jones takes samples from established artists and fuses them with his own electronic music, resulting in some decidedly retro beats. This can be seen in songs like “Handclaps and Guitars” which uses samples from the indie band Walk the Moon’s “Quesadilla” and “Mind Your Manners” use of Icona Pop’s song “Manners.”
In addition to using samples, Chiddy Bang worked with a multitude of popular artist such as Shirazi and Gordon Voidwell. In “Mind Your Manners,” Icona Pop themselves join in on the song and provide chorus while Chiddy sings in the background with echoed lyrics.
One of the best examples of these featured artists is Shirazi in the song “Run It Back” with his light singing that transitions into the heavy rapping of Chiddy. Shirazi’s chorus “If this is your favorite song, run it back” shows up again multiple times throughout the song during several transitions from slow to fast creating an unpredictable rhythm.
Living up to the lofty standards set by their original, Chiddy Bang has produced an album that lives up to their reputation.