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Clipping "There Existed An Addiction To Blood" LP

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Clipping "There Existed An Addiction To Blood" LP
Clipping "There Existed An Addiction To Blood" LP
There’s something resonant lurking underneath every halfway-effective horror flick. Clipping know all about this. The experimental rap trio have been exploring stark sounds and extreme circumstances since they emerged on their 2013 album midcity. They make profoundly discomfiting music, music for quickened pulses and gritted teeth. You can’t relax when their music is on. You can’t read to it. You can’t really drive to it. You can’t have conversations with other people while you’re listening to it. All you can really do is give into its overwhelming bad-vibes power.
The members of Clipping are master manipulators. Daveed Diggs is a Tony-winning actor who, like fellow omnipresent rapping thespian Riz Ahmed, constantly turns up in Netflix movies, kids’ cartoons, prestige TV shows. He has a recurring role on Sesame Street. He’s the lead of the TNT Snowpiercer TV show that’s apparently coming out next year. Last year, he wrote and starred in Blindspotting, a tangled and effective indie movie about race and violence and gentrification. He’s a really good actor, and good actors are good manipulators. So are film-score composers. Jonathan Snipes, one of the two producers in Clipping, regularly scores low-budget horror movies. The other producer, William Hutson, has a doctorate in experimental music. All three of them know the effect that music and words can have on you. All three of them take full advantage.
There Existed An Addiction To Blood, Clipping’s new album, is a meditation on the idea of horror — horror movies, horror stories, ’90s horrorcore rap. On the different album tracks, Diggs lays out different gruesome movie scenarios. Rich people pay piles of money to watch poor people die horribly. Someone hides from mysterious pursuers in a dumpster. A tryst becomes a bloodbath. We’ve heard stories like this before, but that doesn’t make them any less unsettling. And Diggs lays these stories out with bloodthirsty delight, zooming in on detail, digging into the texture of the viscera: “A signal fire in the lymbic nerves / Gotta give the kill what the kill deserves.” “The bags on the table ain’t for weight, they for body parts / Victim’s skin stretched across the wall, call it body art.” “Steve was still there on the floor, what was left of him / Gnarled bone, body parts, all piled in a mess.”
Diggs lays all this out with breathless speed and precision, and he does everything he can to put us, the listeners, in the shoes of the victims. He mostly raps in second person: You’re watching your friends die, you’re careening blindly into an alleyway, you’re invited to imagine the most painful death for your victim: “Tendon saw to extend a cavity / What could fit? What are you imagining?” It’s cold, unrelenting, stomach-contracting music, and it directly targets or implicates the “you” who happens to be listening.
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