Chip the Ripper may have the best album of the first quarter of 2011 with “Gift Raps”. The production is absolutely bananas with a grip of beats that a lot of DJs like myself will rip and flip for a very long time. Chip’s laid back flow and delivery are an excellent fit with the beats he rides while his witty wordplay seems to just effortlessly slide. I always try to pick my favorite tracks out while I’m listening to a new album, but “Gift Raps” is loaded with favorites.
“The Big Bang” and “Life” stood out as immediate adds for rotation so those were my first two selections after my first run through the album. Then I took my time and rolled each song again and suddenly realized that “The Entrance” was my new favorite right up until I listened to “Light One Up” again. It starts out slow and has a long intro that might lead people to skip to the next track, but DO NOT SKIP TO THE NEXT JUST YET! Allow the song to build and by the time it hits the halfway point you’ll be vibin’ with this song. “UAF” will almost lure you into the same mistake with the laid back piano loop running through the first half, but then it flips into mad funky around the 2:10 point of the song.
“The Big Bang” is just grimy and absolutely f*ckin dope! Chip the Ripper has a classic Hip-Hop record with this one that should get a grip of play for a very long time. He left a lot of beat wide open so I fully expect an absolute run on remixes of this within the next 30 days. He does the same with “Everyday Chillin” which also has a classic Hip-Hop flavor. “The Coldest” leans in immediately with that classic Barry White drum fill and builds as it flows on while Chip tries to regain his focus behind a chance encounter with a woman that got him infatuated. Chip’s wordplay really stands out as the highlight of the track. “Life” has the same tendency to start out slow, but be patient and let it develop. As soon as you hear the bassline slide in you’ll be hooked. Of all the tracks on the album, “Life” has the flyest hook hands down.
“Dynoman” is an odd track with Chip only dropping one verse then allowing the remaining 2 minutes plus to ride out on a psychedelic instrumental journey. I think it is safe to say that last half of “Dynoman” is going to find itself chopped into samples all over the place for the rest of the year and beyond. Watch for all the mixtapes with “Dynoman Remixes” with the fake ‘featuring Chip the Ripper’ like they were actually in the studio and part of the original creation…that always makes me laugh. “Jumanji” is okay, but after the weird trip of “Dynoman” it’s not a good follow up. I think Chip needed to come with a real big record to follow up “Dynoman” to avoid losing listeners. “Hang Out” allows Chip to really display his storytelling skills as an emcee, but what really stood out to me was the song arrangement with a noticeable ebb and flow.
I was definitely feelin’ the funky slap bass of “Plural” but I would have to say this was my first real disappointment of the album. The song is just forgettable. It’s not bad, but I don’t think it has a memorable sound that will last much longer than one time through the album. “Underdogs” once again almost lost me with the long build up, but once Chip flips in I was reeled back in to liking the track. I’ve spent this entire time trying to think who I would compare Chip the Ripper to, but still can’t put my finger on a name. Between his wordplay, flow, and cadence and the intricate production I would have to simply say Chip the Ripper and the album “Gifts Raps” is simply unique. “The Bio” closes out the album and of course it has a long build up that really tests your patience to avoid just skipping on the to the next one, but like I’ve said before – do not skip ahead. Chip flips his cadence and goes at warp speed over a beat that will have you begging for more cowbells.
I highly recommend “Gift Raps’ for any fan of Hip-Hop and especially for producers who could use a lesson in actual production and song arrangement. As for the DJs – you are going to love this album with all the wide open breaks to blend into your mixes.