Clipping. – Splendor & Misery

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Whoever said “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” Los Angeles experimental hip-hop trio Clipping didn’t get the memo. The guys aren’t the type to think about whether or not they should do something, but rather can they do something. That mentality shows on the group’s sophomore LP “Splendor & Misery.”

The follow up the their 2014 debut “CLPPNG,” the guys have once again redefined the term “experimental.” This album is full of clattering metal noise, beats that come and go on a whim and vocal panache from Daveed Diggs of “Hamilton” fame. Together all these elements come together in a style that can only be described as Clipping.

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The album’s opener “Long Way Away (Intro)” songs like a prayer blasting through the streets of the Middle East through a rusty megaphone leading right into the “The Breach” which has Diggs spitting acapella bars faster than the listener can blink.

Despite the unorthodox opener and overall tone of “Splendor & Misery” there are still some tracks on here that are reminiscent of more traditional hip-hop. “Air ’Em Out” features bass beats laced between industrial snares to make this track more approachable, but still well within the experiment Clipping wants to conduct.

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Toward the end of the album we get “Story 5” which sounds like it came straight from a Deep South choir on Sunday afternoon. It’s a softer beat that the album rarely takes, but it almost serves as a way to wake-up the listener as the guys continually throw wrenches in the works.

While “Splendor & Misery” and even Clipping as a whole may not have the most approachable sound, those who are willing to take the plunge on this album won’t regret as it’s weird, psychological but also thought provoking all wrapped up in a rusty barbed wire fence.

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