clipping. - Splendor & Misery

Splendor & Misery

Hi Hop has bleed into every faucet of popular culture from Commercial spots to Broadway Musicals. Los Angeles hip hop deconstructionists clipping. have returned with yet another very high concept album with Splendor & Misery. Similar to Logic's album The Incredible True Story this record can only be called some kind of space opera grounded in hip hop. For the Hamilton star Daveed Diggs hip hop seems to be less of something to feel and more something to study. The last clipping. record had zero use of the word "I" something that in Hip Hop seems unimaginable. This record and clipping. in general is about pushing to see where the limits of rap actually are. What is quite clear is just how good at rapping Diggs really is. Despite what obstacles he puts in front of himself, conceptually or technically, He rises and overtakes it is really something to hear. However with a concept album as high as this you really have to do something to make the record land softly with the public. clipping. has zero interest in that. This album is an idea and a test, if it works great if it doesn't well than at least we took the art there. There are so many industrial bangs and off kilter sounds during "Wake Up" to give you the sense of waking up from some kind of long space journey, and it is a compelling story but not a super compelling song.

What will you will notice off the bat is a distinct lack of a rhythm section almost throughout the entire album. For a genre that was based on the break to remove a rhythm section entirely is an odd choice. The story also drives the record forward rather than the music. You do want to see what happens after the interstellar slave revolt and our hero fleeing on a spaceship with a computer that is falling in love with him, but you want to know because of the narrative. In another world this record could really be considered spoken word, thought tracks like "Air 'Em Out" where Diggs raps for almost 40 straight seconds over a space aged trap beat would speak otherwise. Splendor & Misery is a really difficult album to get your head around and one it would be really difficult to recommend. Yet it is important for the art and it's continued development so you find yourself respecting Splendor & Misery even if you don't like it all that much. it really is a case of A for effort, and degrading to the art as that may seem.

5.9 out of 10


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