When Chiddy Bang came to the College for the Welcome Back Concert in January, I was impressed with their live performance as they captured the crowd.Now, I’m even more impressed with their studio chops after their debut album “Breakfast.”
The album opened with an intro that had me a little skeptical, but once the music kicked in it was all bass-thumping, sound-layering fun.
The album featured the group’s two previously released singles, “Mind Your Manners” and “Ray Charles,” and admittedly I think “Mind Your Manners” might be my favorite song on the album. That’s not to say that the rest of the songs weren’t good, but I just really enjoyed that song before and I still enjoy it now.
Many of the songs had melodic hooks, either by Chiddy or by others, and they were overall fantastic. Chiddy has a very energetic style of rapping, and the hooks always mirrored his mood in the song. He was also very good at setting the mood for a song. He has a sort of “rapping range.” Rappers obviously don’t really “sing” but he was very good at portraying a range of emotions throughout the songs.
Those emotions translated to a very diverse track offering. “Whatever We Want” is a great bass-thumping track now that we’re back to windows down weather. “4th Quarter” can really make you feel like a boss and get you pumped if you need it. “Does She Love Me?” will tug at your heartstrings a bit if you’re prone to that sort of thing. Basically, Chiddy Bang succeeded in creating a great range of tracks and told a story throughout the album. It’s not quite on the level of Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” as far as storytelling, but that album sits in a class of its own in that regard. They certainly did a good job, and borderline great considering it’s their first album.
Xaphoon Jones also deserves a lot of credit for the beats, as he delivered on the promise he made during my interview with him at the Welcome Back Concert to bring “layers of sound” to this album. Every track has a strong bass line and then just layer upon layer of sound on top of it. It’s a very forward-thinking style of hip-hop, as he managed to get the club music feel without going completely David Guetta with it. My only complaint is that on one or two of the earlier tracks, it can be a little overwhelming on the first listen — especially if you’re listening at high volume.
Overall, this album was great. I had high hopes for it, and they were not dashed. The group made most of their fame with mixtapes so far, but “Breakfast” looks like a start to great things for Chiddy Bang on the album front.