Clipping are an experimental hip hop group from California that combine the rap virtuosity of Daveed Diggs with uniquely concocted beats of Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson. On their new EP, the group uses intriguing sampling to construct an industrial aesthetic matching the hard-lined delivery of Diggs. Although the music is especially violent in impact, the group saves room for catchy hooks making for an enjoyable experience from beginning to end.
On a very technical level, the album is very unpredictable rhythmically. Diggs’ phrasing is highly syncopated and grouped in ways that erase the bar lines and play with the idea of meter. In “Shooter” Digg’s emphasis always hits in different parts of the bar. Also, the beat is produced entirely out of gun sound effects that highlight the underlying meter rather than utilizing some variation of kick drum and snare to ground beats 2 and 4. The combination of both the beat and Diggs playing with the meter make the piece linger on very smoothly. Also, the speed at which Diggs usually raps must also be taken into consideration as the way he plays with meter is made more impressive by the blistering pace of his flow.
Despite, the fast pace and virtuosic rhythmic interpretation, the group still leaves room for well constructed hooks. Diggs has the type of voice that articulates a refrain with enough distinction that it becomes recognizable. Also, his simple, baritone melodies add to the catchy quality of the hypnotic words.
Overall, this EP was awesome on first listen. Each song was interesting in one way or another. The group has a unique sound with just the right level of recognizable melody to inspire singing along, which may lead to success beyond a niche alternative audience.