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MUSIC


to make a moderately successful alternative hip-hop duo. And then... I went outside.’ [Laughs]


‘And he just did it,’ adds Chiddy. ‘That’s the story... The End.’ [Laughs]


Being pigeonholed as ‘alternative hip hop’ is one thing, but is there a common misconception this classification is more intellectual or meaningful than regular hip hop? What do they think of this label?


scholarship, like we both had, you are paying a ridiculous amount of money, so we decided to find our own fun.


‘In our school, they let you focus on the legal or the business or the engineering. So I chose the engineering. I was living in the studio: I would sleep underneath the desk and get up in the morning and just start working on stuff.’


Chiddy adds, ‘I was at college, but I wasn’t really interested in being there. Basically, when I applied to Drexel I found out there were multiple studios on campus, and I’ve always rapped since I was very, very young. I realised that the music industry kids, like Noah, had access to the studios on campus. I was of the mindset that I needed to find an industry kid that would allow me to get into the studio. That was my focus. There was a kid who stayed next door to me and he was a music industry major; him and Noah were classmates/homies. I hounded them every day.’


Two kids at college, but not digging college, then decide to ditch college for music. Is this the basis of the Chiddy Bang story?


‘Well, one morning,’ says Noah, ‘I woke up, and the sun was shining and the birds were singing, and I thought to myself, today I want


‘That just shows how people are so closed-minded in regards to what hip hop has the potential to do,’ answers Noah. ‘If you call us alternative hip hop, it’s because you are used to a certain kind of thing. I don’t think either of us listens to what you would call “alternative hip hop”.


‘We listen to Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz! I think that kind of notion just ends up hurting the fans more, because the fans who feel a certain kind of way will either listen to you and not question it, or they will not listen to you and not question it. Either way, you want people to give you a listen. If it’s for you, like it; if not, don’t like it. All the labels like putting names on genres so people don’t have to listen to it. It’s like, oh, yeah, it’s in that world. You either accept that whole world or not.’


Chiddy adds, ‘Then you see us as outside of that, so we are classed as “alternative”. Chiddy Bang is what happens when you take someone who is just straight hip hop, and you mix it with someone like Noah, who has the quirky production and a very wide-based understanding.’


Their combination of ‘straight hip hop’ and ‘quirky production’ seems to have worldwide marketable appeal. But how interested are they in taking over the world? We’ve heard them say in several interviews they don’t really care if people buy their music or not...


‘I think we do care if people buy our music,’ responds Noah, ‘but we totally understand if they don’t. We are part of the generation that has been pirating music for quite some time. It would be hypocritical of us to be, like, yeah, buy our music and support us.


‘At the same time, I have two little brothers who will never know about the concept of exchanging money for music. When you have a generation that thinks that way, you can’t lock them all up. You can’t criminalise an entire generation on how they’ve come to interact with the technology available to them. We need to start thinking of new ideas instead of trying to criminalise everyone.’


Chiddy agrees. ‘I understand people aren’t going to buy music. When our album came out, I went and bought a physical copy of Breakfast and that was the first physical CD I have brought since 2003.’


With a huge fan base booming and world domination at their fingertips, it seems all eyes are on Chiddy Bang. Where many artists might crumble at the thought of such pressure, this hip-hop twosome don’t seem to be the crumbling types...


‘We’re 21 years old,’ says Noah, ‘we’re going to be making music for a long time, so to feel like everything is resting on this album is a bit silly.’


Chiddy says, ‘Personally, I think we’ve exceeded our own expectations, so at this point it’s like... the album is out there now.’


Noah concludes, ‘I think we were “the ones to watch” in, like, 2010. So to put out a record in 2012 is... there are other ones to watch. Go watch Lana Del Rey? I don’t care [laughs]. Go watch The Weeknd or some shit, we can be the ones to listen to.’


Follow Chiddy Bang on Twitter @chiddybang or visit chiddybang.net


WWW.FLAVOURMAG.CO.UK 55


SINGING AND I THOUGHT, I WANT TO MAKE A HIP-HOP DUO


THE BIRDS WERE


Words: Trina John-Charles


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