Review | Chip – TEN10

This article originally appeared on Red Bull Music

The Tottenham-raised artist’s new album features Not3s, JME, Frisco and production from Sampha.

Not satisfied after fulfilling listeners with League Of My Own II – last year’s sequel to his seminal work from almost a decade earlier – Chip has bounced back with new album TEN10, which knits the musical styles he’s employed over his career. Here are some talking points from the project.

1. The album sees Chip continue to incorporate dancehall and Afrobeats

Although he’s not been shy in experimenting with sounds that fall outside the grime genre, Chip has reaffirmed his affinity for his dancehall influences, in addition testing himself on the popular Afrobeats sound. The single CRB Check, which features Not3s, Take The Lead with B Young, Human and My Girl with Red Rat in particular display Chip’s ability to appeal to a diverse audience.

2. Chip ensures that there’s enough tunes for the ladies

With a move in the direction of more dancehall and Afrobeats styles, it seems only natural that Chip would adjust some of his lyrical content to fit accordingly. CRB Check, I.F.W.U (which samples Craig David’s Rendevouz), Take The Lead, My Girl and Human are all centred around his love life, ranging from catching feelings to less romantic endeavours.

3. Some of the best moments involve Chip rapping

As mentioned above, Chip frequently sings to match the different sounds comprised within the album, but various tracks remind you that he’s a respected MC foremost. Chip spits alongside JME and Frisco on Right Now – the most traditional sounding grime tune on the album – and lyrically he’s at the height of his powers on Darth Vader, which features a distinctive beat produced by Lil Silva and Sampha.

4. Chip can’t run out of bars, but…

It’s widely believed that Chip can’t run out of lyrical ammunition, something that he’s reminded us of over a 10 year period, but in contrast to the 17 track album League Of My Own II and other LPs that have come from the grime scene in recent times, Chip has limited the tracklist to a more digestible 10 songs. With the relentless pace of the current digital era, shorter bodies of work are becoming increasingly more popular in the opinion of fans.

5. He’s got a lot to get off his chest

Although he’s still only 27, Chip is a veteran in the game – having been nominated for Best Newcomer, among other things, at the 2008 MOBOs. There are many instances on TEN10 where he illustrates his maturity within his storytelling. Tracks like Darth Vader, Vampire Life and Good Morning Britain provide a wise assessment of life for people who have come from a similar background to him – with thoughtful bars on topics like music industry politics and the problems in today’s society alongside shots at Piers Morgan.
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