The buzzy hip-hop duo from Philly took their live drum/MC combo to The Highline Ballroom last night, with a great selection of indie-friendly samples and a sh*t load of energy.
It's always tough to discover rising rap groups in the live setting, especially considering so many of them are just plain terrible (or boring, or unoriginal). Scratch all three for Chiddy Bang, who are a fairly frenetic duo from PA. They brought new heat to the stage last night and it made for a really enjoyable set, filled with familiar sounds, reworked, rethought, and repurposed.
Some context. These guys are most well known for this track, sampling MGMT's "Kids":
Totally shot the video at the playground on my block.
They closed with "Opposite Of Adults" of course, but it wasn't really the highlight of the show at all. The guys moved through a few old tracks and it was clear the fans in the front were familiar with all of them, but I was not. I discovered all of their samples are very alt-leaning, and they cover a lot of familiar ground (like sampling "Better Things" by Passion Pit, very, very cool). My buddy told me he was disappointed, he came with to hear their Radiohead jam (which they wound up skipping). Today I found it on Youtube. It's f%@#&* awesome. Wow.
And there was more; crowd interaction is key to a hip-hop shop, especially considering one MC can only throw his hand around so much, no matter how hot the beat. Chiddy Bang diversified the set by taking a break and encouraging the crowd to contribute topics for an off-the-cuff freestyle by mic wielder Chidera "Chiddy" Anamege. Mid-show they stopped the beats and wrote a bunch of topics in marker on the back of some paper plates. It's moments like this that make shows memorable, and CB seems to get that.
Their debut record is just around the corner, so stay tuned... their ear for samples and wordplay won't stay underground for much longer. -joe puglisi