HipHopRambling: clipping. – CLPPNG (2014 – Sub Pop Records)


I don’t do a lot of alternative/underground/experimental albums, which is a shame, since I really should do more. Most of the time I’m doing well known albums from the gold-standard 1990s, but I should really spread the word on groups such as clipping. In an age where mainstream hip hop focuses on luxury, lust, riches, playing, and the same tired-old standard topics, clipping.’s first album released this year bristles with identity, ambition, originality, strangeness and fun. It may not appeal to those who aren’t into noise or electronic, but for those that do crave such production, it’s a must.

One that that immediately popped out to me was not the “weird” production that was going on in the album, but rather the delivery. The delivery that is showed on the album is incredibly distinct, which is amazing. At times, clipping. go off real fast, to the point of somewhat incomprehension, and then at times they’ll slow down. Overall, it keeps a sense of always constantly changing. The pacing of the album itself can get chaotic, but such is expected with an experimental album, especially of this identity and breed. In addition, the delivery is a “stream of consciousness”, and in some ways analyzes a psyche itself “in the moment”.

But the more enjoyable aspect was the wordplay. I think a lot of rappers forget that rap was made popular in the first place because of fun wordplay. CLPPNG provides plenty of it, especially in an age of half-assed rhymes. The lyrics are unpredictable, which keeps the listener’s mind going, and it’s what keeps the entire album fresh. Usually, many albums constantly fall off because they get repetitive, but the nature of the wordplay on CLPPNG keeps this from happening. It’s more of a mindtrip, if anything.

The production of CLPPNG is not in any way traditional (as would be with an experimental album). Modern common production techniques are not to be found anywhere on this album. Much of the production is inspired from music, specifically the noise, drum and bass, techstep, IDM, and other electronic genres (think FlyLo FM or MSX FM). Of course, this is where the silver lining is to be determined, and if you’re a lover of these genres, this album is perfect for you. If not, you may not enjoy it as much as others wood.

Overall, there’s no true way to describe it, and it’s up to the listener themselves to really make sense of the album. Overall though, I would definitely give the album a 5 stars out of 5. The originality shines through, as well as the very distinct and nontraditional delivery, which I found very fun to listen to. It is an experimental album that may more or less be a specialty as well, but I legitimately think it’s more than novelty. With more interest in electronic over the past few years, clipping. really could be the future of hip hop.