Chipmunk is obviously keeping himself busy, and the video has appeared for his single Beast. Featuring vocals from Louick Essien, the final product is very slick, especially placed within the context of his previous material. League Of My Own was only released just over a year ago, but the difference is huge.
Chipmunk (Feat. Louick Essien) - Beast
Good video, good production. The inevitable 'is it grime'? queries will pop out out of the woodwork, yet there's a fair amount of bass and, even if the hook has an R&B approach to it, Chipmunk's spitting very much suggests grime.
The subject matter also suggests grime and, more particularly, Chipmunk, sticking to the tried-and-tested 'I'm the best, I've worked hard and look where I am now'. There's nothing wrong with belief, and a little arrogance can take you far, yet starting the tune with 'can you please get down from the top of the scene' did make me cringe a bit. Every artist will indulge in their own ego, and a statement of intent is needed in a scene in which reputation carries too much weight, but making these type of songs repeatedly goes against the idea of versatility being needed for longevity.
He deserves respect for making grime music and not changing his style to suit a new audience, for moving on the pirate radio circuit, featuring on the mixtapes of numerous MCs, and being in memorable clashes on Rinse FM and during the Fuck Radio series. I rate Brutal, but Chip's 'you've got problems pronouncing words' did make me laugh.
The one-line flows also show an adherence to grime's heritage but, in Chipmunk's case, the over-used repetition of Fire Alie and Mandem seems to fit in with a currently superficial content, with little originality and insight. Beast continues the trend.
This Life, from his early days being 'Fresh Out The Oven', and Let's Change prove he can move from his favoured topic of 'going on sho'. It would just be nice if he did it a bit more.
The new single, Beast, is due for release on 1 Decemeber '08.