Review Summary: Xaphoon Jones pop-rap sound meets indie pop aesthetic makes many songs enjoyable, however while Chiddy's generic frat-rap persona isn't offensive, he adds little outside of a few catchy choruses.
Chiddy Bang suddenly became one of the faces of the college or frat-rap subgenre when “Opposite of Adults” became an internet hit in early 2010. With a very obvious sample lifted from MGMT’s “Kids,” being re-worked into an insanely catchy upbeat backing for an anthem about never growing up, the group may have set the bar a little too high. Producer and one half of the duo, Xaphoon Jones, couldn’t continue to re-work indie pop samples without diminishing the group to novelty status, which would ruin any hopes for longevity. Despite not creating a beat as memorable as the one from the group’s most well-known song, he has developed a style that consistently matches the hallmarks that gave “Opposite of Adults” so much appeal. This indie pop/electro flavor for the hip-hop crowd is the primary reason the duo has gained a full-fledged following since their first retail release, 2010’s EP The Preview.
Chiddy, the rapping half of Chiddy Bang, does not bring as much to the table. While a serviceable pop-rapper, there’s a good chance Chiddy would never have gained much attention by himself. He never ruins a song, but outside of providing some catchy choruses, he never does anything better than decent. Think of him as Big Sean with less personality and a more monotonous flow, and boasts that may have him go unnoticed as opposed to getting lamented as a deush bag. He shined brightest on the aforementioned “Opposite of Adults” as the simple message was incredibly easy to relate to yet still struck a deep chord with many. He has little to no subject matter on this album. He is either rambling out punch lines that just exist without sticking or offending, while his other topic is detailing relationships in a very generic manner, though never sounding corny doing so.
The rapping is what really prevents this group from taking off as Chiddy never elevates them outside of providing a good chorus half the time. Whether it’s the horn-driven “Breakfast” or the bouncing piano meets boom bap of “Ray Charles” the beats will rarely disappoint, and will often be the determining factor in how much you enjoy the track. The only missteps are the obnoxious Disney Channel-esque pop-rap of “Happening” and “Baby Roulette.” The latter sounds exactly how you imagined Train’s lead singer cooing corny McDonald’s metaphors over video game synths would. Despite Chiddy’s lack of star power he provides enough catchy choruses over Jones’s trademark, yet Top 40-ready beats, to hopefully garner some radio play. Despite wearing a little thin over the course of a full-length album, Chiddy Bang’s somewhat unique style and accessibility marks the point where their intro to the mainstream is long overdue, something quite inexcusable for their major label backers.
Rating - 6.5/10