If we have one regret from 2013, it's that clipping.'s phenomenal debut Midcity was absent from our Best Albums list. The gross oversight is not typical of us, but it happened (sorry, guys). After five back-to-back listens to “Work Work” (feat. Cocc Pistol Cree), we're confident the oversight will not happen again with clipping.'s Sub Pop debut.
Now the second progressive rap act to sign to the grandfather of indie labels, clipping. announced its album, CLPPNG, yesterday along with “Work Work”, which significantly strips the aggro-punisher production found on Midcity to a minimalism of clanging percussion and g-funk remnants. If the debut was misconstrued as an extension, or worse piggybacking, of the noise rap adventurism of Death Grips, then clipping. intend to shed the ill-fitting garments immediately on “Work Work”.
Or perhaps its the flipside of adventurism that clipping is exploring. Rather than continue to pummel eardrums, producers Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson strip the sound in order to elevate Daveed Diggs' rap criticisms so that stingers like “you never been to that district they reference / drunk full hashish and mescaline / your mind is a mess and this bitch is undressing ” have a better chance of hitting their intended mark.
“Work Work” should not be misinterpreted as clipping. catering their sound to resonate on a mass appeal level. Why would Sub Pop want that when it released Shabazz Palaces' Black Up? clipping. value their words as much as the textures on which those lyrics are presented. The single presents a trio in balance; the producers focus on minutely crafted nuances, which creates a haven for Diggs' “be yourself, be diligent” message without having to bend it to the mercy of a sonic rampage. It is not a requirement clipping. become more accessible as its profile rises, but “Work Work” is an olive branch to newcomers—the bottles broken over skulls can come later.
clipping.'s CLPPNG is out June 10 on Sub Pop.