It’s weird to say that an artist that is still not even touching 30 years old is a veteran of their genre but in the case of Chip A.K.A. Chipmunk, this is definitely a fact.
With over 10 years of experience in the scene, Chip’s career has been far from straight forward with a brief moment making cringeworthy, yet successful pop records.
I say Cringeworthy simply because a grime artist should never say ‘oopsy daisy’ on a record. He was also briefly signed to Hip Hop heavyweight, T.I.’s label, Grand Hustle. For while it did seem like Chip had left his grime roots, but after his unsuccessful stint on Grand Hustle, Chip seemed to find himself and began making music that suited him. His mixtapes ‘Believe and Achieve vol. 1 & 2’ as well as ‘Power Up’ where all solid projects and along with some major guest verses, Chip proved he was still one of the top rappers in the UK.
League of My Own II is Chip’s third studio album and serves as a follow up to his mixtape ‘League of My Own’ which was released 10 years prior. Although, LOMO was not his first mixtape, it was definitely the project that grabbed the attention of many fans and to follow up such a momentous project was a brave move. But, for the most part, it paid off. The project opens with the voice of Chip’s Dad giving words of encouragement before a killer Dready beat kicks in and Chip unleashes a flurry of braggadocios bars; making a perfect introduction to the project (Intro).
League of My Own II serves as a display of Chip’s versatility as an artist and the project sees the MC dive in and out of a range of genres. Tracks such as ‘Snap’ and ‘#YSN’ have a dancehall vibe to them with the latter being the better track and perfect for a summer day whereas tracks such as ‘34 shots’ and ‘Scene’ see Chip go straight back to his grime roots. Many of the other tracks range from hard-trap flavoured tracks to slow jams, and Chip doesn’t sound out of place on any one of these tracks, which is a rare talent.
The features on this project was spot on and Chip managed to get some great verses from some of the most revered artists in the UK. Dimzy and LD of 67 bring their A game, with with Dimzy bringing his laid-back but menacing flow; and LD contrasting this with a much more energetic and aggressive delivery, on the track Honestly. The track ‘Gets like That’ sees grime veteran, Ghetts, do what he has been doing all year long and that is destroying any instrumental he chooses to spit on; although Chip did his own damage to the track and was by no means second on his own song. Giggs also brought one of his best verses for a long while on track ‘Amazing Minds’ where his flow is crazy. The grime posse track, ‘Scene’, features Jammer, D Double E, JME, Mira May and Wiley, who all do their thing but Chip’s flow is absolute fire on this track and provides one of his best moments on the whole project.
Chip also opens up on a much more personal level than he does on previous projects. The track ‘Family’ is outstanding and sees Chip dedicate each verse to a member of his family, in a touching, heartfelt track. The track ‘Hit Me Up’ features an amazing chorus from Ella Mai and sees Chip showing his vulnerable side, trying to convince a girl, who’s ready to leave him, to stay. The Loop sees Chip explain what’s been going on in his life and in his mind; providing an insightful and entertaining close to the album.
However, this project is definitely not perfect and has a few tracks that feel just like filler for the album. Love song ‘Good for You’ has an awful instrumental and is just an overall boring track that I don’t feel matched the quality of the rest of the project. It honestly feels like Chip all of a sudden thought “I need a track for the ladies” and threw together a lacklustre song. ‘Normal’ which features Donae’O is a banger but the problem I have with this track is that it almost sounds like a carbon copy of Donae’O’s song ‘My Circle’ and I feel this lack of originality on this track does take it down a notch. Lastly, ‘Settings’ has one of the sickest instrumentals on the project, but I can’t help but feel Chip could have done more with it.
Despite these setbacks, Chip has provided an impressive project and it is clear to see that he is at point within his career where he is comfortable making the music he wants to make and has found what works best for him as an artist. This album is a testament to his lyrical ability and versatility on the mic; providing great evidence to why he is one of the best MCs in the country right now. I would recommend you listen to this album ASAP.
Album Rating: 7/10
Favourite Tracks: My Family (Ft. Loick Essien), Hit Me Up (Ft. Ella Mai), Amazing Minds (Ft. Giggs), Honestly (Ft. LD & Dimzy), Gets Like That (Feat. Ghetts), #YSN, Scene (Ft. Jammer, JME, D Double E, Miraa May & Wiley)