clipping. is a Los Angeles, United States rap trio formed in 2010 by William Hutson (Rale), film soundtrack composer Jonathan Snipes (ex-Captain Ahab) and vocalist Daveed Diggs.
Lyrically, clipping.’s music attempts to reshuffle and repeat accepted rap scenarios, while eliminating a traditional single-point perspective. Diggs’s writing is heavily citational, like a rough-edged collage, gluing together half-glimpsed images and misremembered references, many of which might feel familiar, and some of which assuredly do not. But even while he consumes and regurgitates established styles, his self-erasure is incomplete; Diggs’s dense, often motormouthed flow remains wholly his own.
Individually, the members are known outside of the group for their extra-curricular artistic projects. Diggs is a stage actor, while Snipes composes music for film, and Hutson is an established noise music artist. Snipes and Hutson have collaborated on many projects, including the score to the documentary Room 237, which was released by IFC in 2013.
In February 2013, clipping. released their debut album, Midcity, on their website. The project was created entirely in-house, with the trio writing, producing, engineering, mixing and mastering all of the material themselves. There was no budget, no outside promotion, no hype-machine, no blog or label interest. In fact, clipping. had no expectation that anyone would bother listening to the album, let alone enjoy it. Nevertheless, reactions were largely positive— despite the uncompromising nature of the production, and its obfuscatory lyrical content— and within five month’s of Midcity’s release, clipping. signed a deal with Sub Pop Records.
CLPPNG, the band’s label debut, was written and recorded between February and October of 2013. Highly well-received, CLPPNG is an album that demonstrates the variety of sounds available when the ‘rules’ of a genre are willfully questioned.