Friday, October 15, 2010

Chiddy Bang – The Preview EP (2010) – Review

Chiddy Bang’s new EP The Preview features three songs off their The Swelly Express Mixtape and five new songs (six if you also get the iTunes bonus track – I hate iTunes). Originally, their debut album The Swelly Life was scheduled for release this Fall, but then pushed back to early 2011. Thus, this EP was released to give fans a taste of what is to come. The EP only has one featured guest, Q-Tip, and one other producer, Pharrell, than group member Xaphoon Jones. It is nice to see the group stand on their own again for their second released EP (the first having a couple of the same songs).

The group is comprised of MC Chiddy and producer Xaphoon Jones – who perfectly complement each other, Jones providing hip culturally chic beats and Chiddy delivering fun lyrics infused both with pop references and personal emotion and reflection. The EP is a good example of what this group brings to hip hop. A fresh sound that melds pop, post rock, electro, and hip hop forming sort of a poppy hip hop that appeals to both fans of the backpack movement and more classic hip hop (and it helps with you have Q-Tip on the EP and Black Thought on your Mixtape).

The EP starts off with their new single The Good Life, which is co-produced by Jones and Pharrell each bringing a little of their sound to the music. The song has more of a radio-friendly feel to it than most of the group’s work, but they need a few singles to move units and get them out there. Currently, they have more of an internet following and they tour continuously. (Skipping the already released songs Truth and The Opposite of Adults) next up is Here We Go featuring Q-Tip. The song is very addictive and has a great hook. Xaphoon Jones’s beats are generally great, but here he outdoes himself. It mixes an electro sound with Chiddy’s fast rhymes. (Then there is another previously released song All Things Go) followed by Nothing On We, with a classic hip hop beat – snares and drums with some piano and organ underneath. The song has a good message about making it, not about money and woman but achieving dreams. Bad Day sampling from Darwin Deez is a fun heartbreak song. Chiddy Bang generally stays upbeat sonically, so it is cool to hear a song more about deeper emotions. The sample makes for another great hook as well. Old Ways finished the EP. It starts out a bit like a street banger, but when the synth comes in it is clear that it is just another great Jones track.

The EP does not have a weak track on it; each song has an interesting and different beat, though within the group’s style. Chiddy’s lyrics are also very good – fun, heartfelt and full of relevance. For those that do not know about this group, this is well worth checking out. 3/5

Chiddy Bang’s The Preview Ep is available for digital download at and on CD.

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