At the start of the year, the much talked about Chip made a surprising bombshell statement on Charlie Sloth’s Fire In The Booth. Not holding back on his feelings and his perception of indirect lyrical jabs and shots thrown from Tinie Tempah, the CMAR star continued to express his thoughts on the current Grime/Rap scene, also explaining that the reason for the delay on addressing certain situations was because he had no new current music material in circulation which he felt could backfire on him, to where he would be labeled a hater.
This launched an uproar and backlash amongst MCs, rappers, fans and industry personalities replying vocally via every social media platform. Fast forward to March, the 24-year old North Londoner decided he would fire off at the critics with his “Pepper Riddim” freestyle, which was produced by one of Grime’s greatest producers to date, Ruff Squad’s very own Prince Rapid. With Chippy showing that, whether its grime or rap, he will not back down from lyrical warfare.
In reality the commotion caused by Chip and attempts to bring the art of competition back, worked very well and was pretty healthy for reigniting the competitive side of the scene. That said, after all of the momentum and build up, Believe and Achieve is far from the straight 140BPM EP with grimey beats and rapid flows which many were probably expecting.
Instead, the project offers more of a mixture of genres fused together; ranging from grime and Hip Hop to soulful hooks and sprinkles of funk. The features on the project are plentiful, with a meaty line up of lyricists and singers. The intro track “Where Are You”, sees Chip give an honest perspective of his situations along with flowing his emotions on an airy hip hop beat, using the sample as the chorus. “School Of Grime” features two of the Grime scenes pioneers/veterans and former N.A.S.T.Y crew members, D Double E and Jammer.
For “Feeling Myself”, Chip is joined by another two of the UK’s most lyrical wordsmiths, Kano and Wretch 32. If the title of the track doesn’t sell itself, let me break it down. The cut is basically pass the parcel. The trio go back to back to back, each MC flowing with a grown man’s panache, dropping braggadocios rhymes and making it seem effortless with their simile and metaphor game on 100.
“Holdin’ That” features another British vocal superstar, Maverick Sabre, who takes on the soulful chorus duties. Chip doesn’t hold back on the verses, barring about personal issues and venting frustrations on things that cause him anxiety and stress. Overall the message in this track is, despite what you may think of someone’s circumstances, everybody is human and goes through some sort of problem.
“Make It Home” is a semi conscious track to take in and definitely makes you think. Chip reveals things he should do, memories of his time in America, along with inspiring and educating all, while dropping a few cocky lines over a laid back instrumental. Rounding up the EP, we have “I’m Fine”, featuring Stormzy and Shalo, this track actually kicked off the campaign for Believe And Achieve back in December.
Overall, the project is extremely well thought out. Production wise, the beats were selected thoughtfully and suited the subject matters. The features on the EP were very effective; each artist shined, with their skills complementing and adding more substance to the track. Out of 10, I give Believe and Achieve an 8. Given how vocal Chip was with his point of view, I would have expected a more gritty, grimey, 140 BPM-based concept, but Believe and Achieve is still a great body of work. Chip has shown a huge amount of growth since his last works, giving answers via lyrics to questions many were asking.
Hate him or love him, this EP just displays again why Chip is still a top tier MC/artist, continuing to strive in the scene. His consistency and quality of music also continues to be more efficacious as time progresses. Despite certain decisions early in his career which continue to be brought up, Chip is still excelling whether you like it or not. Chip’s Believe and Achieve Episode 1 is out now via Cash Motto, purchase it here.
Words by Kenny Leavett