Release Date: Feb 28, 2012
Record label: Virgin
Genre(s): Pop, Rap, R&B, Pop/Rock, Contemporary R&B, Alternative Rap, Pop-Rap
This pop-rap pair's debut LP opens with sounds of children playing, and infantile vocal snippets tie it together: twee, high-pitched, pre-verbal. The Philadelphia duo sampled MGMT's "Kids" on 2010's global hit "Opposite of Adults"; Breakfast proves that not growing up is their obsession. Indie electro-dribble runs thick as Nigerian-American rapper Chiddy Anamege makes room for guests like Ellie Goulding and Icona Pop, gets emo about girlfriend woes (most notably on the contraception PSA "Baby Roulette"), feigns blindness over rolling pianos in "Ray Charles" and references Philly's own Fresh Prince twice.
Having smoked weed with Keith Richards, earned blog love from Kanye, and set a Guinness World Record for longest freestyle rap, this Philly duo arrives with so much hipster cred, it probably had to be imported from Japan. Luckily, the hype’s deserved: From rapper Chidera ”Chiddy” Anamege’s witty-geek riffs on Ray Charles and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to DJ/producer Noah ”Xaphoon Jones” Beresin’s arsenal of what’s that amazing indie-rock song? samples (Icona Pop! Walk the Moon! Other bands you’ll want to Google!), they’ve made the most exciting debut of 2012 so far. Breakfast is such an original album, it’s coined a new term for swag: Call it swelly.
In the post-Lil Wayne world of mixtape madness, debut albums serve to give the established fan a polished, official version of what they already know while letting your everyday Joe or Jane in on the secret. Add the Internet-age mixtape to the mix and nothing is secret for those who can right-click, so don't be surprised that the vibrant, fun, and fresh Breakfast sounds like a career already in progress. Here, the electro-loving, hip-hop crew Chiddy Bang are skipping the intro and celebrating success, busting out clever, almost-OutKast party numbers like "Ray Charles" or bleeping chip-tunes style on the very Atari "Baby Roulette.
OK, let’s get the obvious out of the way: Chiddy Bang is a terrible name for a hip-hop act. It would be in with a shout of “worst group name of all time” but, well, Rizzle Kicks. ‘Breakfast’ (again, not exactly inspiring) is the first album proper by Philadelphia’s foremost practitioners of indie-fan-friendly hip-hop, but while most such efforts tend to be – how to put this? – uniformly awful, dreary and orchidectomised, ‘Breakfast’ turns out to be a reasonably hearty meal, definitely sausage and waffles rather than the aural porridge that “alternative hip-hop” summons up.
“There is no one like me,” sings Swedish band Icona Pop in a sample on the first single from Chiddy Bang’s studio debut, Breakfast. The chorus of “Mind Your Manners” shamelessly attempts to set rapper Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege and DJ/producer Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin apart from their hip-hop-meets-alternative peers. Barring the children’s choir that sounds all too similar to Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.”, the Philadelphia duo proves far more original here than on previous EPs and mixtapes.
It’s fair to guess that Philly’s own magic duo weren’t going to create the most mind-bendingly experimental, boundary-pushing debut, so it was as fair to wonder how it took three years to arrive. After a few listens the answer seems to be rapper Chidera ”Chiddy” Anamege and DJ/Producer Noah ”Xaphoon Jones” Beresin were cutting off every inch of fat, honing every beat and checking each pop-culture reference. What’s perhaps most impressive for Chiddy Bang is they’ve managed to move away from immaculately high-jacking indie-rock anthems to rely far less on the skin deep satisfaction of the “ooooh I know this sample!” game.
An instant hit with tasty ingredients from the Philadelphia rap duo. Martin Aston 2012 When is a debut album not a debut album? When it’s a free mixtape. Broken via MySpace, Philadelphia rapper/MC Chidera ‘Chiddy’ Anamege and his studio-wiz partner Noah ‘Xaphoon Jones’ Bersin made waves in 2009 with The Swelly Express, whose mix of originals and samples included the irresistible MGMT-raiding Opposite of Adults.
A hip-hop twist on MGMT’s “Kids” took Philadelphia-based duo Chiddy Bang from general obscurity, to the buzz of a strong UK fanbase, to being the hottest thing on U.S. college campuses since Asher Roth. With an distinct sound, courtesy of Xaphoon Jones’ bubbly hip-hop/indie pop fusion the duo has finally put together their debut studio album Breakfast, 2 years after breaking into the mainstream with “Opposite of Adults.” Breakfast sticks to the formula of Chiddy spitting bars over synth-driven indietronica soundscapes.