It’s the 9th March. I’m cold and late but eager to get to Club Academy to see if this act I’veheard so much about are all they’re cracked up to be.
Chiddy Bang, for those who are yet to experience them, are Chidera ‘Chiddy’ Anamege and Noah ‘Xaphoon Jones’ Beresin – an alternative ‘hip-pop’ act hailing from Philadelphia.
With their brand new album ‘Breakfast’, of which was released on 5 March 2012 coupled with the astounding current World Record for longest freestyle rap at 9 hours, 16 minutes, and 22 seconds, I think it’s clear these boys could be well on their way to greatness.
I arrived at the modest underground venue that is Club Academy, Manchester with just enough time to ready my notebook, and inhale the support act… Needless to say there was little I could write in my notebook throughout Murkage’s set – a totally talentless grime/jungle group, with the exception of the drummer.
Murkage is a six piece group, consisting of four vocalists, a DJ, of whom I was constantly reminded operated the “1’s and 2’s”, and said drummer.
The four vocalists stepped on each other’s toes throughout, with no clear co-ordination or recognition for one another. Back to the drawing board, boys – stop insulting the stage.
However when Chiddy entered stage left, it was made painfully obvious that there couldn’t have been a more mismatched line-up.
It had become quite clear to me whilst listening to Chiddy Bang’s album, that Kanye West has played a big role in influencing the freestyle rapper, and I’m sure Kanye wouldn’t mind at all in being attributed to such a talented individual.
The duo were accompanied by a drummer and bassist whilst Xaphoon took to the keys, vino rouge in hand. Chiddy spits bars like nothing I’ve seen before, and everything fit together almost effortlessly.
Towards the peak of their set, Xaphoon asks, albeit slightly wine soaked, if the crowd can suggest some random words for Chiddy to fit into a freestyle rap.
Amongst others he was presented with ‘Cheese burger’, ‘X-Box’, ‘Scoobie Doo’, ‘V Fest’ and ‘Manchester’ – and you could immediately tell that not one person in Club Academy that night hosted a single doubt in their mind, that Chiddy was going to pull this off with unproblematic grace. I can happily report he did just that – the place went wild, the band went wild, and even the security staff loved it. A defining moment for live performance.
The group closed with their most recent single release from debut album ‘Ray Charles’ and it was by far the most well received – very near album quality.