With an unconventional pairing of technical rap flows and abrasive noise, experimental trio clipping. approached hip-hop production from largely uncharted territory. Though the group would morph into something new with almost every subsequent release, they held on to their core of experimental and often-confrontational energy on independent cassette releases as well as more widely distributed albums like 2020's Sub Pop-issued Visions of Bodies Being Burned.
Clipping. were formed by producers Jonathan Snipes (Captain Ahab) and William Hutson (Rale) in 2009. The project initially existed as a series of remixes where the duo put the vocals from preexisting a cappella versions of commercially successful hip-hop tracks over new beats they made with noise and industrial elements. The harsh sounds of the project expanded the next year when rapper and long-term friend Daveed Diggs (also of True Neutral Crew) joined, completing the group's uncommon sound. After a few under-the-radar releases, the group's debut album, Midcity, was released in February 2013, available solely online and with no promotion or label backing. The sound was so innovative that within months the project inked a deal with Sub Pop, which delivered second album CLPPNG the next year. The record featured guest spots from ex-Three 6 Mafia MC Gangsta Boo, King T, Guce, and others. The group toured with Busdriver and Milo in support of the release.
In 2015, Diggs played Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the off-Broadway musical Hamilton, reprising the roles during its initial Broadway run. Hamilton was an enormous success, winning 11 Tony Awards, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Despite this, Diggs left the Broadway cast during the summer of 2016.
Resuming activity that same summer, clipping. released the Wriggle EP (with a title track build around a Whitehouse sample and guest appearances by Antwon, Signor Benedick the Moor, and Cakes da Killa), as well as the full-length Splendor & Misery, both on Sub Pop. 2017 saw the release of the single "The Deep," a futuristic electro-rap track that recalled the aquatic production of Drexciya. The next year, the group appeared on an extremely limited split 7" with Metz, and an early cassette release from 2012 was reissued as Face. Along with three tracks from that early cassingle, the newly expanded release featured remixes of the song "Face" by artists like Duran Duran Duran, JPEGMAFIA, and FLANCH.
In 2019, the trio released There Existed an Addiction to Blood, a full-length influenced by hip-hop's horrorcore subgenre as well as John Carpenter's film scores. The next year, they edited audio captured during their 2017 tour opening for the Flaming Lips and released the results as Double Live. Unlike conventional concert documents, however, Double Live was a collage of sounds from hidden microphones, venue bathrooms, and other non-musical sources. Later that year, clipping. continued their fascination with horrorcore with the release of studio full-length Visions of Bodies Being Burned. The album again centered on ghastly stories of murder, paranoia, and dread taken from both classic horror movies and the group's collective imagination. ~ Fred Thomas & Paul Simpson
ORIGINLos Angeles, CA