By: Jamie Reysen
Philly-based duo Chiddy Bang fuses electro, hip-hop and indie rock in their newest EP, The Preview. The result: music that hip-hop skeptics will appreciate—or consider dancing to, at the very least.
The strength of the compilation exists in its innovative blend of indie-rock samples and upbeat rap lyrics. While many rappers use samples to bring melody to their songs, Chiddy Bang puts a fresh spin on an old practice.
“Opposite of Adults,” perks up MGMT’s “Kids.” While “Kids” remains catchy years later because of its great instrumentals, Chiddy Bang rids the melody of its bittersweet vibe. They play with pitch and use percussion beats to turn a sad song into a celebration.
In “The Truth,” percussion and original electronic beats accentuate the chorus of Passion Pit’s “Better Things,” well, better than Passion Pit.
A strong synthesized tune and a much higher key take the miserable chorus from Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago” and make it fun in “All Things Go,” one of the best songs on the EP.
“Bad Day” is a college break-up anthem waiting to happen. There’s something endearing about the funny lyrics coupled with a resampling of Darwin Deez’s “Bad Day.” Lyrics like, “I hope you brought cab pay, and I hope you get detention on a half day,” kept me laughing, while Deez’s whiney chorus stayed stuck in my head for days.
“Old Ways” is Chiddy Bang’s strongest original song. They take a break from sampling and use a catchy piano/drumbeat pairing to carry the harmony, throwing in some synthesized notes and soulful guitar chords for emphasis.
The weakest songs on The Preview are “The Good Life,” produced by Pharrell, and “Here We Go,” featuring Q-Tip. While having a few industry names on an album is good for publicity, Chiddy Bang has developed a sound of their own, and it works best without the influence of big name hip-hop artists and rappers.
Across the EP, Chiddy’s lyrics are playful and funny, which should be the point of a good hip-hop song. Their music embodies the college experience. Chiddy Bang reminds us to live in “the now,” momentarily unconcerned with the future.
And conveniently enough, The Preview solves the ongoing dispute of hip-hop versus electronic music on party playlists everywhere.
Tags: Hip Hop
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