Best West Coast Rap of 2014

“Makes party music for the club you wish you hadn’t gone to, the car you don’t remember getting in, and the streets you don’t feel safe on; are phantom broadcasts bleeding into Power 106 as you drive out of range; are twenty different rappers looking into one broken mirror, talking to themselves all at once; are classic west coast rap music out of the tradition where sounding different wasn’t cause for fear.”

– Mission statement behind CLPPNG by clipping.

What is clipping.? The purest rap today. Dirty industrial noise. Assaults of static loops. Prayer bells and chimes, mutilated saxophones. Hitting sidewalks with whatever breaks, including the microphone.

clipping. is: Saul Williams’ self-criticism at the speed of MGK’s ego. Dre’s experimentation with Common’s social conscience. Nine Inch Nails’ early appreciation for S&M, rust and blood, Aphex Twin’s delight in scraping out your ears with static feedback. Eminem’s storytelling. More time signature changes than a Maynard James Keenan put-on.

CLPPNG is that album everyone knows is important but no one knows how to listen to.

clipping. is: MC Daveed Diggs, noise musician William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes.

clipping. takes three minutes of a shrill alarm clock. clipping. gives it the musical function of a pipe organ. clipping. makes it beautiful.

clipping. makes unapologetic West Coast rap like it’s spilling out of the concrete and asphalt. clipping. makes you want to hide inside.

clipping. tells the story of a gang’s arsonist who left the life, moments before his ugliest actions return to haunt him:

“No, that was a full
life time ago. When?
Nobody has to ever
know. He has never
told – well except Ronald –
but that don’t count.
He was sweet and
exactly what he
needed him to be
at the time: wine and
candlelight and nice
texts at lunchtime.
Why had he not called Ron back?
Guess there just wasn’t a spark.
Ha! No, no,
mustn’t joke about these things.
Wouldn’t want to disappoint Doc Clark.
So many hours on a couch,
so many buried memories that take
so many tears to get em out.
Water had never been a friend.”

clipping. is something new.

– S.L. Fevre & Amanda Smith

This article is part of our series on the top 35 albums of 2014. Here’s the list as we unveil it.

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