clipping.: ‘Face’ review

What I Know:
clipping. are a noise / experimental rap group consisting of rapper Daveed Diggs and producers William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes.

Their first major-label release, CLPPNG, came out in 2014 and, since then, they’ve been offending eardrums and moral codes left, right and centre.

What I Like:
Recently, my Dad told me he’s a little bit put off by some of the swearing in the songs I feature on this blog. Well, at the risk of turning away a sizeable part of my readership, Dad – you might want to avoid this one.

Because, let’s get one thing clear from the start; you don’t listen to clipping. if you’re easily offended… offended by profanity, offended by imagery (see the front cover of their 2016 EP Wriggle) or offended by sheer, bloody, unadulterated noise.

You see, this band like doing things a bit differently – they’re famous for imposing rules upon themselves, such as the one where they would create beats from recordings of gun shots or the sound of someone tapping on a thermos flask or, well, just about anything other than drums. Or what about the rule that Diggs is not allowed to use the word ‘I’ in his lyrics because it’s the most used word in hip hop?

Well, musically Face is another such jaw-dropping oddity to add to the crazy clipping. cannon. From the drum stick beat at the beginning of the track to the white noise and bass throb that accompanies the second verse to the all-out chaos of the final time around, it’s about as far from easy-listening as you can imagine.

However, I’d like to bring it back to the vocals because, here, more than ever before, Diggs’ phenomenal flow comes to the fore. Do you remember when someone first told you about rapping and you were wowed by the concept of essentially, just how fast these lads could talk?

Well, as you grow older and listen to enough rap, that sorta fades and I’m rarely wowed by simply how fast a bloke can go nowadays… but I actually genuinely am amazed by what Diggs is doing on Face. And the funny thing is, he knows how impressive it is too – they’ve put an Acapella version on the single just to drive the point home.

OK, so what he’s actually rapping about (if you can decipher any individual words) doesn’t appear to be of any massive consequence; something I’ll admit I was a little disappointed about after 2016 album Splendor & Misery appeared to mark a shift in clipping.’s MO towards a more political message.

However, that year, they also released the aforementioned Wriggle, which had songs that literally ripped of Britney Spears with repeated mentions of “It’s clipping., bitch!” so perhaps we’ll get ‘serious clipping.’ later in the year.

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