What do Belle & Sebastian, Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, Marry Poppins, MGMT, The Notorious B.I.G., Passion Pit, Sufjan Stevens and Yelle all have in common? They’re all sampled on Chiddy Bang’s debut mix tape, The Swelly Express. And no, Chiddy Bang isn’t a mashup artist in the same light as Girl Talk. They’re a rap/electronica duo consisting of a rapper (Proto) and a producer (Xaphoon Jones).
The mix tape is described as the true story of two Drexel University students from Philadelphia who quickly garnered the attention of “the industry.” Their music was inspired by multiple trips to New York City to meet with record label executives.
To add to the true story feel, there are four skits that add a nice touch to the mix tape.
Lyrically, the 18-track mix tape is top-notch. The up-and-coming rapper, Proto, possesses a smooth flow with sharp, witty rhymes.
The mix tape’s production is stellar, too. Xaphoon Jones is able to sample multiple genres over superb synth lines.
Some of the standout tracks include the danceable “Truth,” which samples Passion Pit’s “Better Things,” the infectious MGMT sampled “The Opposite of Adults (Kids)” and “All Things Go,” which samples Sufjan Stevens’ indie folk song “Chicago.”
It’s amazing that these two young adults were freshmen in college just one year ago and were able to produce such a cohesive mix tape debut without major label backing.
And while Chiddy Bang is not a mashup artist, Jones just released The Xaphoon Jones Mixtape Vol. 1. His debut mix tape features mashups and mixes that are more eclectic than The Swelly Express.
Rating: 3.75/4 stars
Release Date: October 29 (Free download of The Swelly Express available at http://www.myspace.com/chiddybang)
Production: Xaphoon Jones
(Free download of The Xaphoon Jones Mixtape Vol.1 available at http://www.prettymuchamazing.com/music/pma-presents-the-xaphoon-jones-mixtape-vol-1)