Conceptual albums are an amazing thing in theory, but very hard to accomplish. They use complex analogies and stories to push a lot of themes at once and in the end there is some form of lesson in listening to them. CLPPNG, the new rap album from clipping., fails to bring any of that criteria into any physical form, leaving scraps of a torn web of concepts scattered throughout. Some songs blend together thematically, but others just break away from this overall theme of disappointment in rap. The new album really struggles to stay true to one style, and splinters into serious song followed by songs repetitively talking about drugs and committing crimes.
Lyrically the album is brilliant: precise, crisp lyrics remain in the ear long after each listen. The production quality is superb and there is a perfect blend of experimentation and vocal prowess. The juxtaposition in Body And Blood is hailed online from many people who have reviewed the album, but personally it seems like a twist on the word “twerk” and an attempt to appeal to a much broader audience, and take some of the more mainstream rap hooks and dumb down their own song. “Work Work” is extremely catchy, moving rather quickly from idea to idea but also implementing the beginning roots of the pseudo-conceptual style that encompasses the album, but when “Cocc Pistol Pree” begins to enter with her verse it sounds like a redux of some god awful Nikki Minaj lyric, and really puts a damper on the song.
The overlying problem with the album becomes apparent with just the next three songs, because “Summertime” and “Taking Off” are both true to the fundamental groundwork of conceptual albums, but they are both about different ideas. One raps about life growing up and how tough it is with drugs and the poor conditions surrounding their upbringing, but the next one disses other rappers and how they’ve lost their origins as rappers and embellished themselves in the fame, leaving their past behind. I can see how it ties back in with growing up and seeing these stars laying the framework for rap, but really all the song does is accomplish the mindset of “Rap has changed, we’re here to take it back to where it should be” but it never fully accomplishes that. Tonight is just straight out of left field. There is seemingly no goal achieved with this song, except repeating an auto-tuned hook with gaudy beats and lyrics, and it really degrades the quality of the album as a whole. The rest of the album does a really nice job creating an atmosphere and mood for the album, except for “Wake Up” and “William’s Mix”. “Wake Up” is, to say in the very least, annoying and overly ambitious. The thing that rouses people at six in the morning blasts for a straight minute and a half until the lyrics kick in and the background noise changes to a less annoying repetitive sound, and then kicks back to the alarm clock. Upon first listen it’s not bad, but after that each and every listen afterwards just makes the album scream “Take it off the playlist, because you don’t want to hear it”. “William’s Mix” sounds akin to synthesizers making a bunch of weird noise and it does nothing for the album. It does not solidify any floating theme in the mind, and it just puts a bad vibe in the album as the last song, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth.
CLPPNG is overall a nice album, incorporating a lot of experimentation and quick spitting lyrics that explain life and the endless rut some people face, but the lack of consistency and songs that should have been cut from the track list puts a veil over the album, because ultimately after the first or second listen the ideas have been fully presented and can be understood and there is no reason to return because after every three to four songs there is one that just kills the vibe that has been building up, decreasing the quality of work that is presented on a grand scheme.