Written by Edward Burrell
I have to start this off by saying that I am a fan of Chip and his legacy in the Grime scene, from way back when will never go unnoticed in this genre. From spitting bars with Westwood, Ice Kid and Wiley to Oopsy Daisy and crossing the pond to work with Chris Brown and T.I, Chip has done it all. So when it was announced that we would be returning back to England and will be dropping some new heat, it is inevitable for one to be excited.
The best comparison would be with a film, if you like the original, you are most likely going got get excited about the sequel and you may love the sequel but it will never be as good as the original. That’s how I feel about Chip’s new League Of My Own sequel, 10 years later.
There are a number of reasons as to why this album falls a little short of it’s predecessor; from Chip’s perhaps excessive use of Tory Lanez style rapping and singing across a number of tracks like #YSN and Good For You. Perhaps it is not to say that Chip cannot do this, but it leaves him seeming pretty ordinary; something we know he is not.
I will go on to talk about some of the songs that really impressed me, mainly lyrically, and how we can still see glimpses of the Chip/Chipmunk we all came to love those 10 years ago.
Before I do, I think it is best to address the Donae’o assisted, Normal, which is an absolute banger, however this feels like a clone of Donae’s own track, My Circle with Blittz and Big Tobz. The beat is almost the same, Donae’o’s hook is almost the same with some lyric changes, but the adlibs are exactly the same and apart from Chipmunk’s verses, which might I add is tight lyrically, it feels lazy. Chip is known to not ‘run out of bars’, but it seems he got slack with his hooks and instrumentals here.
Okay, I’ve shaken off that little annoyance I had, let’s get into the rest of this lyrically heavy album. Family is the penultimate track on the album and features the incredible Loick Essien, who seemed to have completely disappeared but Chip can still make him relevant again. Essien’s contribution on the hook sets the tone perfectly, allowing both the listener and Chip to get into a reflective zone. Even though Chip slowed down the tempo, and switched to a more sensitive topic, the lyrical content is still just as tight and just as powerful it would be on a 140BPM. The punchlines and flows are still very original and still allows Chip to be himself, whilst talking a topic that obviously means a lot to him. Many artists, including Chip, try to connect with their fans and listeners, being relatable is what gave the likes of Ed Sheeran serious popularity and Chip manages it here brilliantly.
From a rather emotional track to one of the more party tracks from the LP, Snap Snap. This song is really fun and works great as a sing-a-long. A lot of UK Rap and Grime tracks seems to be picking at the flaws in our society, and Chip does this in the form of a catchy hook, a slick flow with a fruity instrumental. This song, I predict, will be played in the clubs the most out of all the songs on this album.
Next we will go to Confirmed. The cut is a solid reminder that Chip has great rap flows, confirming he’s still a diverse lyricist. There are punchlines all over the places, this song is fuelled by his ego, which has remained untouched over the many years. Keep your ears peeled for the last verse when you’re blasting this in the whip, and you may just have to pull over and get the gun fingers out.
The last track we’ll talk about is Scene and it is one that needs discussing. This tune very much reaches out to fans like myself, who would probably prefer the first instalment to League Of My Own. With a big line up of features and an introduction that we can instantly relate to; if this is your favourite song on the album, we’re in the same boat. It was nice touch to have this song filmed in Jammer’s basement, and having D Double E come with a flow that the scene admires. We have to remember, Chipmunk is still included in these origin stories, and I guess that’s what this song was about. From F*ck Radio to Risky Roadz, these guys including Chip, were all there.
I think that is one of the key take-aways from League Of My Own II, Chip has been there since almost day 1 and his progression, his fanbase and reach is a testament to the Grime scene, Chip’s talent and the support we give our UK artists.
Although this LP may fall a little short of Chip’s original benchmark with League Of My Own, he has done enough to prove that he is still one of the best lyricists in the scene alongside the likes of Wretch 32.
Check out the video for Scene below: