Record Label: Sub Pop
“Clipping. makes party music for the club you wish you hadn’t gone to, the car you don’t remember getting in, and the streets you don’t feel safe on; are phantom broadcasts bleeding into Power 106 as you drive out of range; are twenty different rappers looking into one broken mirror, talking to themselves all at once; are classic west coast rap music out of the tradition where sounding different wasn't cause for fear.” - (Press release for Midcity, September 2012).
Since the above was written, things have changed for Clipping. The band found that listeners were more ready for them than they’d first imagined. Before 2013’s Midcity, the trio of rapper Daveed Diggs and producers Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson did not expect to find an audience for their abrasive brand of rap music.
The project was initially a remix project, an aside to the members’ main occupations - Diggs is a stage actor, while Snipes composes music for film, and Hutson is an established noise music artist (Snipes and Hutson collaborated on the score to 2013s IFC documentary Room 237). But, since the formation of Clipping., the field of commercial music enlarged ever so slightly, making room again for noisier, more adventurous elements in electronic production (though Clipping. insist they simply make rap music).
CLPPNG is a much more ambitious project than Midcity. The album features guest verses from some of the band’s strongest influences, including Gangsta Boo (formerly of Three 6 Mafia, and currently of Da Mafia 6ix), Guce (longtime Bay Area mainstay, member of Bullys Wit Fullys), King T (all-around West Coast gangster rap legend, founder of the Likwit Crew, and mentor to Xzibit and Tha Alkaholiks). For the first single from the album, “Work Work,” Clipping. joined up with Cocc Pistol Cree, a newcomer from Compton best known for her appearance on DJ Mustard’s mixtape Ketchup, and her song "Lady Killa."
In addition to the featured guests, CLPPNG boasts a more varied sonic palette than its predecessor, stretching the band’s experimental sounds to fit a wider emotional range. Midcity had anger and aggression figured out, but CLPPNG fits the group’s harsh electronics to club tracks, slow jams, songs to strip to, and more. Relying heavily on musique-concrète techniques, the trio built many of the tracks out of field recordings and acoustic sounds. The beat for “Tonight" (featuring Gangsta Boo) evokes a nasty, late night encounter with its fleshy slaps and squishy, biological noises, while “Dream” utilizes natural ambiences to create a bleary, hypnagogic mis-en-scène.
But the band hasn’t gone soft; the album’s intro is likely the most uncompromisingly brutal piece of music they've yet recorded, and “Or Die" (featuring Guce) is as mean as anything on Midcity. CLPPNG is an album that demonstrates the variety of sounds available when the ‘rules’ of a genre are willfully questioned.