clipping. are back with another track off of their out-of-leftfield, noize hip-hop Sub Pop debut, CLPPNG, out June 10th. The track, “Body and Blood”, is probably the more intense window into what is an at times immensely challenging and equally rewarding record for listeners. Press play to hear what I’m going on about.
Today’s a very heavy release day for us here at Sub Pop HQ. We’ve got people hustling around the warehouse shipping and receiving, publicists on the horn (industry speak for phone) with press, and metadataists metadataing. Which is to say, it’s a wild scene around here, but one we’ve been preparing for.
First and foremost, clipping., the most disruptive and abrasive yet remarkably welcoming hip hop we’ve ever heard, are making their debut with the nearly eponymous CLPPNG. It’s a collection of disorienting and challenging hip hop tracks that equate to a pretty perfect debut record. Listen to “Body & Blood” in the embedded player for example. Pick up CLPPNG here, or wherever fine records are sold.
Tragically long-out-of-print on the coveted vinyl formatway, Constantines’ Shine A Light is back in record bins wherever you dig for them. There’s still time to get yourself a copy of the limited, colored-vinyl Loser Edition of the LP from us here. But they’re going to go quickly, so order SOON. Listen to the epic ”Young Lions” from the record here.
Rose Windows are back with their single, ”There Is A Light” b/w “Fix Me Another One”, out today digitally, and out soon on 7”. Pick up the 7” single or a two song digital single here. Listen to the beautiful psych dream that is ”There Is A Light”.
CLPPNG just came out yesterday to critical acclaim with ”Album of the Week” honors over at Stereogum. Today, the music site premiered the utterly NSFW music video for the grinding track, ”Body & Blood”. Head on over there to get on that wild ride, directed by Patrick Kennelly.
The following is a note from William Hutson of Clipping.
Our new track “Knees On The Ground” might benefit from an explanation. This is the most unguarded I ever intend to be when writing about Clipping.
What had happened was this: our very brief UK/Europe trip got called-off the day before we were supposed to get on a plane to London. Since we didn’t have any other plans, we met up in the studio with an idea to crank out a new track. On our list of songs to finish was one particular piece aimed directly at the club (or, at least, our twisted idea of what clubs should play). But none of us were in the mood for it. Each of us had spent the previous several days following the news of protests in Ferguson, MO. It was the only thing on our minds. We couldn’t bring ourselves to think about anything else, so we decided to direct our fear, our revulsion, our heartbreak into a new track.
The problem was that we’d defined our band — in interviews and to each other — as decidedly-not-an-activist-project. Diggs’s lyrics have been criticized for seeming apolitical, at least in comparison to what many listeners (perhaps rightly) expect to hear from an ‘experimental’ rap group. I have many times said (perhaps naïvely) that our politics lie in our structures, in our formal engagement with the rap genre. We love its conventions, its clichés, and we’re not above them. We see our participation in rap as something resembling an old punk flyer — an out-of-context collage of charged images with an fractured, contradictory, multiple point-of-view. I hope that our more dedicated listeners hear this and understand that we’re not interested in spoon-feeding them a position. At the same time, I’ve always assumed that they pretty much agree with us on most issues anyway. (We have yet to meet the misogynist, homophobic, white supremacist Clipping fan with an MBA and an NRA membership).
So what do we do when all we can think about, all we can feel, is a profound injustice — yet another young unarmed person of color is murdered by a police officer? How does a band, which overtly rejects affect and the emotions, address something that is, for its authors, a deeply felt, deeply affecting topic? Well, we don’t entirely know. But the fact is: there’s more truth in Diggs’s lyrics than we generally let on. “Inside Out” describes a drive-by shooting in Oakland, “Chain” is about three stick-ups. They are presented with a lot of detail and specificity (perhaps the result of personal experience). But at the same time, they represent archetypal scenarios within rap music. One trope we had yet to explore as Clipping was the anti-police rap — the lineage of Public Enemy, NWA and Paris, straight through The Coup, and all the way into the ‘stop snitching’ panic of the early 2000s. “Knees On The Ground” is a paradigmatic white-cop-kills-an-unarmed-black-kid-and-gets-away-with-it tale — a story that happens all the fucking time in the US. What we have learned — from our first hand experience in Oakland in 2009, and from the media coverage of Ferguson in 2014 — is that the second part of this story involves a police response better suited to a war zone than to an American city. Cops think they’re playing Call Of Duty when they’re supposed to be part of a community. If Ferguson were in Iraq, Obama would have sent in an airstrike already.
This is the least obtuse Diggs’s lyrics will ever get. We’re embarrassed by the timeliness of this track. We do not intend to capitalize on what is, undoubtedly, a terrible tragedy. But journalists make think-pieces and we make songs. Writers write what they know, and this is what we know right fucking now.
— William Hutson, Clipping.
The director behind many of Clipping.’s music videos, Carlos Lopez Estrada, in collaboration with the talented director, Cristina Bercovitz, delivered another thought provoking and memorable music videos with “Get Up”, an unsettling and insanely catchy track off of the band’s Sub Pop debut, CLPPNG. See the Stereogum premiere of the video in the embed. Pick up CLPPNG from us here at Sub Pop here. All orders $20 or more are 20% off through the New Year!
Noise rap trio, clipping, debuted their latest video this week for the CLPPNG track “Get Up”, the third for the group from director Carlos Lopez Estrada (and in this case, co-director Cristina Bercovitz). We here at Sub Pop HQ have been blown away by the quality, creativity, and ingenuity displayed by Estrada and clipping in the videos that they have worked on together, first “Work, Work”, then “Inside Out”, and now with “Get Up”, that we decided we wanted to hear from the director. We sent him a few questions and he was kind enough to answer them.
Sub Pop: Tell us a bit about how you became the sort of guy who makes music videos for experimental noize rap trios like clipping.. Like, did you go to school for film? Are you friends with the clipping. dudes? How do I get your job? Ignore any and or all of that, Carlos.
Carlos Lopez Estrada: I’ll try to answer all of your questions here. I’ll try my best. I did go to school for film, and that is precisely how I met Jonathan (1/3 of clipping). He scored one of my short films and we somehow managed to stay in touch through the years. I knew he made weird music but I somehow never heard any of it until clipping came to be. Of course, it blew my mind. The rest is history? I guess you get my job by having friends who make weird things and convincing them to let you make weird things with them. In terms of being friends with the dudes, I like to think that is the case, but you should probably confirm with them. (Don’t think I won’t check on this – Ed)
SP: Do you typically collaborate with the artists you work with when creating music video treatments?
CLE: As much as they let me. Making videos for clipping is a complete unorthodox experience, though. Working with them has been a true blessing because the guys are extremely intelligent, absolutely fearless and always appreciative of the work that goes into their videos. We met once for coffee and they were very specific about what they *didn’t* want in their videos, then they pretty much trusted me to do whatever I wanted. It was quite remarkable.
SP: The videos for “Work Work” and “Inside Out” seem to follow the same character through a linear timeline. Was this intentional when you initially created the treatment for “Work Work” (the first of the two), or did the idea come later? Will there be a future installment of the headless MC?
CLE: It is all part of a master plan that I am unfortunately not able to talk much about, for both yours and my safety. All I can say is that those 2 videos are the top of the tip of an iceberg; and it is actually more like a glacier, rather than an iceberg. (Sounds juicy. No, sounds icy. - Ed)
SP: Your visual interpretation of clipping.’s “Get Up” is both heavy and beautiful and feels like it makes the song even more culturally impactful than it already was. What brought you to gunshot wound on the street?
CLE: Well, thank you very much. Cristina Bercovitz deserves as much credit here because the idea was hers as much as it was mine (we co-directed the video). The guys knew that “Get Up” was our favorite track in the album so rather than asking us to pitch against each other, they thought it would be a good thing for us to work together on the video. That is how magical Clipping is. Now, this is one of those songs that should perhaps not ever have a video, so agreeing to move forward was difficult, to say the least. We went through many many potential ideas and ended up with the most simple of them all, which seemed to do justice to the way the band approached the music. Our only goal was to present an absolute honest representation of how we interpreted the song, both musically and emotionally. Hopefully someone out there will agree that we did. Do those last few sentences even make any sense? Probably not.
SP: Any advice for aspiring filmmakers and/or video directors?
CLE: Don’t do it! (Sounds like someone’s afraid of a little competition - Ed.)