Overall Score: 3.3/5.0
Review by MrReesh - Send me messages and discover the power of friendship via Twitter- @MrReesh
And it's off. The mixtape launches as Chip(munk) declares that he is a trendsetter against a haunting and ominous instrumental, moving on to compare himself to British born hip hop legend Slick Rick – audacity. He then emphatically dons the cap of a pizza boy and proclaims to the world he “gets dough”, alongside up and coming MMG member Meek Mill. And after those first four tracks how do you feel? Well, you feel kinda like this:
Yes despite the dramatic looking cover and metric tons of hype Chip(munk)'s latest mixtape is alright. If you were hoping for a return to his old style in the mixtape misleadingly titled "London Boy" prepare to be disappointed. With flows that feel predictable sometimes to the point of irritation, Chip(munk) ultimately ends up sounding more like an American rapper with an English accent, which wouldn’t be so bad if it was you know, better. It's listenable though, and thanks to a whole ark full of features including Meek Mill, Skepta and Professor Green, worth a try.
Lyrically despite a few odd choices Chip(munk) manages to stay at an allowable quality, displaying some excellent wordplay in Dumb, where he clearly outshines a lazy verse by BoB. However 96% of the lyrics on the tape are doused in braggadocio and dripping with bittersweet bravado, lacking the force of delivery to make them particularly memorable. This is especially apparent thanks to a number of the features, where Chip(munk) is inarguably outshone. For example in It's Alright, the lust laden coitus track featuring Sevyn it becomes quickly apparent that you only enjoy the song because of Sevyn’s atmospheric melodies and the instrumental which harmoniously backs her. His lyrics feel like template rap, as though you’ve heard it all before and there’s no effort put in deviating from that template. Despite this track 5, Beautiful, ends up being one of the best songs on the mixtape and easily the best solo Chip(munk) song as he speaks at a much more personal level with a flow that feels comfortable and not recycled.
|Skepta goes in,
so here's a picture of him looking cool and stuff
Speaking of features some are far better than others. Hustle Gang general T.I. does okay, but Wretch 32? I don’t know if he got hit by six horse tranquilisers before he got on the mic but jheeze his two features were droll as hell. It surprised me due to the overall high quality of Black & White as well as his recent stuff and should be seen as an anomaly. Probably the best features come from Skepta in the form of My Crew, Meek Mill’s rapid and just plain fun delivery in Pizza Boy, and Professor Green also does well in assumed anthem track Londoner. Sevyn and Delilah perform superbly in regards to singing, as does Jeremih who delivers a smooth chorus in R.N.F..
And I’ll ignore Blade Brown’s comment about how he wishes “all these bloggers would say this hate to my face.” - I’m above it innit. Pendejo.
|THE POISON OF ALL ART FORMS
But let's not get too deep
Ultimately though the mixtape feels like more of a statement than a mixtape. Chip(munk)’s had enough of people criticising him for whatever reasons and is making it clear that regardless of that criticism, he’s doing well and will continue to do so. This assertive declaration lacks the impact to convince given the overall quality of the mixtape, but is apparent nonetheless. It makes me want to see what the next album holds because if this is really a statement, what’s he going to do when it’s time to make music for music’s sake? Though admittedly the concept of ‘making music for music’s sake’ rather than for money’s sake today’s is a relatively hopeful one at best, and leaves me ultimately sceptical.
And on the topic of his name, I’ll continue to put (munk) at the end because the guy made TWO songs about his name, I Am Chipmunk and Who Are You? – are these songs invalid now??? Nah until he makes a song called My Alias Has Been Forthwith Altered And Now May I Accost You To ReferTo Me By The Single Syllable Mononym,“Chip”. But until then I must regrettably sign off this review with a recommendation to download only if you’ve finished your to-do list for the day, and have pretty much nothing else to do.
You can listen to and download the mixtape via the DatPiff player here:
2) Pizza Boy
3) It's Alright
2) Pizza Boy
3) It's Alright
The pennies "BT ArtBox - Money Box" by Dave Catchpole