Chip

Based: London, UK

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Jamaican heritage, channeling the reggae of his youth and the irresistable sway of dancehall. “ You see me in a dancehall party, you’d probably think, When did you get here from Jamaica? I like to dance,” Chip says. As well as production from Canadian beatmaker Tre Mission, he recruited Popcaan favourites Fanatix to bring that Jamaican rhythm to the record. But more important than anything else was keeping this project — Chip’s first independently released studio album — a family affair, using in-house producers he’s worked with for a decade. He only worked on it with “people that I know genuinely believe in me. That’s the best feeling. It was a movement.” The result is Chip’s most ambitious and accomplished release to date, ranging from the rapidfire spitting of “34 Shots” to the sinister, slow-rolling bass of “Amazing Minds.”

It was also important to Chip that the features were all British. League of my Own II is “a good, broad representation of everything I see and enjoy happening in England.” That includes both scene stalwarts like Wiley, Giggs, and Donae’O, and newer singers like Miraa May and Ella Mai. There’s also the brooding hip-hop joint “Honestly” with 67, and the kicked-back “About Time” with rising afrobeats star Kojo Funds (and backing vocals from Ed Sheeran). The strong relationships on this record are nowhere more evident than on the cinematic posse cut “Scene,” where Chip trades bars with Wiley, Jammer, and D Double E over a breakneck beat. “I had to have Wiley on this album,” says Chip. “If I’m in 2007 mode, it just makes sense.”

Elsewhere, the family vibe is more literal, as Chip’s dad provides the intro on the soulful, introspective album closer “Family.” “I love them all, but that’s probably the most personal track,” says Chip. “After everything I’ve been through in life, if I didn’t have a song for my family, I shouldn’t be doing music. They’re the people that have helped me through.”

League of my Own II is the culmination of a totally unique journey, and for one of the UK’s most fearsome MCs, a return to his DIY roots. “The only way I know is from the ground up. When I made England look at me the first time, I done it on my own — if I’m feeling like I want to make you look again, I don’t need to ask anyone to do that.” After charting independently, signing to major labels, and traveling the world all before the age of 26, what is he hoping to achieve with his latest record? “I haven’t done an album in six years, and now I’ve got the feeling again, so it’s just been amazing to me already. To breathe another day and have the chance to give music to people — that’s success to me.”

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