Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Breakfast (Chiddy Bang, 2012) -- D

The hipster/rap quotient is significantly, insufferably upped by the debut album from Chiddy Bang, its colorful, but childish album cover displaying various spines of cereal boxes exemplifying their puerile, insignificant aims. Bubble gum doesn't quite begin to explain it - making it difficult to simply write-off the sugary-sweet (more precisely, sour) combination of beats and rhymes by members Chidera Anamege and Noah Beresin as simply innocuous, the smiley/corny sound and oddly self-absorbed duo pervert and confuse R&B/Rap ethos with nursery rhyme pandering. Breakfast is primarily for rookie listeners who don't require some form of thesis or recurring conviction from their artists. Dismal and incoherent from track to track, one is likely to find more consistency on the latest NOW album, whatever number that equally disgraceful gladhanding series has reached. Each track presents a challenge to get through. Chiddy Bang is the unbearable offspring of R&B-lite and Sundance Indie interests, as random as it is self-absorbed - yet the duo's empty pastiche prizes exactly those qualities. "Randomness" is valorized and self-congratulatory "cleverness" emerges. A quality, worthwhile album these qualities do not make. From the titular track, to "Mind Your Manners" (with children screeching "THERE IS NO ONE LIKE ME," enough to make Gaga's "Born This Way" a preferable anthem), to "Ray Charles" ("I'm feeling like Ray Charles/you couldn't find me even if you had a radar/I get out the mouthwash if you talkin' shit/got my black shades on/smoke until it's gone") to "Run It Back" (the track might as well be called "Running Back," the goofy, potpourri lyrics are inconsequential), Chiddy Bang consistently and proficiently takes a shit on decent rap, meaningful lyrics, and adulthood. As such, their encouragement and perpetuation of "arrested development" ethos is something to be despised and castigated, rather than just ignored. Their efforts amount to little more than a well-produced Kidz Bop album. That adults willingly listen to this pap is frightening.

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