Chiddy Bang – “Breakfast”

Frosted Mini Beats
By Matt Jones

Rolling Stone suggests that your enjoyment of Philly duo Chiddy Bang’s full-length debut Breakfast “rests on your ability to endure the self-consciously cute.”

Okay, Rolling Stone, I’m sorry that Leonard Cohen can’t make every album ever and that you don’t know how to have any fun. Also, let’s clear some things up: Taylor Swift is “self-consciously cute.” Regina Spektor is “self-consciously cute.” Lumping Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege’s creative flows and Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin’s infectious beats into the same category comes off like a horrible Randy Jackson analogy on Idol (not everything is “Indie,” Randy) and is just bizarrely wrong.

Well that’s off my chest.

The reality is that Breakfast doesn’t have to pretend to be something it’s not, and it thrives on the strength of how much straightforward fun it delivers, all while being braggadocious but not pompous. If Kanye and Jay-Z came to establish uncontested dominance in the rap game, then Chiddy and Xaph “just came to party,” as you’ll find in “Handclaps & Guitars,” a track that puts the pop in hip-hop (“pop-hop”?) and sets up the album’s two singles, “Ray Charles” and anti-hater anthem “Mind Your Manners.” Those already familiar with Chiddy Bang will probably recognize one or both of these, as they’ve been out for some time (especially “Manners”). They’re Breakfast‘s two strongest tracks as well, and although we gave the nod to “Ray” for our February playlist, the lyric video for “Manners” is pretty great:

Breakfast may solidify Chiddy Bang’s entry into mainstream hip-hop, and it’s an entertaining journey from end to end. Other notable tracks include “Run It Back,” the most R&B-tinged offering on the album; “Happening,” a bouncy track whose hook admittedly dips a toe in the cute waters (although it’s more inspired than trite, and the big mistake is characterizing the whole album as such); and “4th Quarter,” a track full of swagger that allows the album to finish strong. There are traces of Chiddy’s influences throughout (most notably the shout-out to Kanye’s “devil in a new dress” in second track “Breakfast”), but the production isn’t lacking in originality. It’s a rare example of a positive hip-hop album and there’s certainly no menace here, but what else would you expect from a duo who was sitting in college classrooms two years ago and whose defining vernacular includes the phrases “swelly” and “pretty much amazing”?

It’s hard to root against Chiddy, and it’s a deceptively difficult feat to produce an album that’s as accessible, clever, and original as Breakfast is. It’s currently sitting pretty as the #8 album in the US, and while popularity doesn’t necessarily equate to quality (AHEM PITBULL), it looks like plenty of people can “endure” Chiddy Bang just fine.

Here’s a cute picture of Regina Spektor.

Matt’s Picks
(3) “Handclaps & Guitars”
(4) “Mind Your Manners” (feat. Icona Pop)
(5) “Ray Charles”
(7) “Run It Back” (feat. Shirazi)
(11) “Talking To Myself”
(12) “Happening”
(14) “4th Quarter”

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About mattneric

We like music.
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10 Responses to Chiddy Bang – “Breakfast”

  1. Great review! I know a lot a critics have been skeptical at acknowledging how good this album really is! Prettymuchamazing.com did an album review and the moment they called Breakfast “a 50/50 product,” they lost all their credibility in my book. But glad to see such a positive review on a phenomenal album!

    • mattneric says:

      Thanks! That’s really interesting about PMA since isn’t that where Chiddy Bang got a lot of initial exposure? Either way, Breakfast is just really fun and I think it completely accomplishes its purpose. Eric and I only like to review our favorite new music (hence, albums of the week), because it’s a bit of a downer to be negative about someone else’s hard work. So we generally try to be pretty positive here 🙂

  2. Tyler says:

    Quality album review. Extremely funny and well-written. Bang.

  3. GoodbyeNavi says:

    I appreciate your taste in music. This is a pretty fun album and I’m so glad that there is still good music out! They don’t play this album on my hometown stations so I have to thank Spotify for introducing me to them.

  4. funkmeister4 says:

    Love the humor in you guys’s reviews… you guys’… you guys’es? ANyway this is a very well-written, down-to-business review; you really hit the nail on the head. Props!

  5. Pingback: The Ting Tings – Sounds From Nowheresville | mattneric

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  7. tkozuch says:

    Reblogged this on iplayvids and commented:
    Nice review of Chiddy Bang

  8. brunogouveia says:

    it’s an incredible album. i’m addicted. love the review

  9. Pingback: Top 50 Albums of 2012: Matt’s List | mattneric

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