Between their penchant for employing choruses of (what sounds like) little kids in their hooks and the dopey sound of front man Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege’s voice, Philly duo Chiddy Bang seems to be firmly entrenched in a bubble gum-flavored lane. For their newest offering, the pair stays consistent with that style. Chiddy Bang won’t move the needle for hardcore crowds with iPods full of Tupac, Raekwon or Freddie Gibbs. Everyone else – from diehard fans to the middle ground – should find ample reason to come back for seconds.
From beginning to the end, Breakfast is a pop-heavy CD. The duo – particularly, producer Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin – has been enamored with samples and video game soundbites since they burst onto the scene with “Opposite of Adults,” and rarely does this formula change. “Happening,” one of the album’s closing tracks, best exemplifies a Chiddy Bang track that works. Employing a high pitch, sing-song hook, a fast-paced layer of drums and various forms of synths, it’s damn-near impossible not to catch the vibe. Other album highlights follow this blueprint. “Handclaps and Guitars,” and “Mind Your Manners” are great in the exact same way. “Run It Back” features a smooth, John Mayer-sounding hook which, when juxtaposed with the escalating electronic noise, is a unique, dynamic listening experience. And tracks like “Breakfast” and “4th Quarter” see the duo take more of an offensive approach.
Praise for their style aside, Breakfast’s blemishes are obvious. Chiddy’s raps are incredibly basic. Traditionalist Hip-Hop heads will be hard-pressed to find a lyric worth quoting in any manner. And, for as much as their style works, there’s little variation between their highlights. If you’ve heard one song by them, you’ve ultimately heard them all. It’s hard to reward a 14-track album when everything is formulaic.
A group like Chiddy Bang will be labeled a lot of things and Breakfast will do absolutely nothing to change the perception of those who don’t have an appetite for fun, carefree rap. On a technical level, they display mediocre lyricism and their songs follow the same equation yet they still know how to operate in their lane. Breakfast features a number of tracks that should leave the majority of listeners with a suitable jump start to their daily dosage of ear candy.
Label: Virgin/I.R.S. Records | Producers: Xaphoon Jones, Yuri Beats, iSHi