Clipping is a band consisting of three members, two producer (Jonathan Snipes and WIlliam Hutson) and one singer rapper (Daveed Diggs). Daveed Diggs had previously played Thomas Jefferson in the play “Hamilton.” (Photo Courtesy of Francis Fleming)
There Existed An Addiction to Blood is a hard-hitting and relatively creepy example of a tremendous experimental hip hop album. Loud bassy beats, intense screaming, and dark undertones are all characteristics of experimental hip hop. clipping., the band that constructed this masterpiece, consists of three artists: Daveed Diggs, the main singer and rapper (he also played Thomas Jefferson in the hit play “Hamilton”), Jonathan Snipes, and William Hutson. An eerie reflection of the tragically violent and creepily intense situations from a blood-drinking cult from the early ’70s makes up a majority of the album. Some of the stories introduce the listener as the victim, and the stories throughout the album are very creepy and sometimes sound horrific. Still, some of the awful sounding noises are outlets that Clipping uses to enhance the stories.
To start, a recording of a man speaking fast, no background, no production, nothing. He speaks of drinking blood, he speaks of death. The tape goes on for a while until it cuts out with an eerie silence, but gets replaced with a ghostly howl that transitions into the next song’s rapid piano taps. A few strums of a string instrument later, the first verse from Daveed Diggs is delivered. He raps rather slowly of some friends in a safe house, yet he speeds up his lines as one of the friends gets shot. A hard-hitting chorus repeated the words “nothing is safe,” over and over as the next verse discussed a ghostly figure coming to kill the narrator. The song ends with half a minute of a menacing beat that allows the listener time to reflect on the disturbing story presented to them.
The next beat settles in with some distant bell tolls and what sounds like a dog coughing. Ed Balloon, a feature, starts with some great vocals about protecting yourself. This transitions into Daveed Diggs verse narrating a chase. He tells of a pack, with more power than ever could have been assumed. He talks of running faster than anyone had ever run far far away. Ed Balloon then cuts in again, singing about protecting yourself and often interrupting himself to say, “Oh, he dead.”
A recording then plays, it is a woman telling stories of her strange experiences inside her house. She speaks of hands around her throat, her radio playing without it being plugged in, a cat meowing without anyone having a cat, then the recording is fast-forwarded for a second or two and skips to the woman saying “So, who was really trying to kill me? Not my friend, but Satan.” This creepy tape gives a spine chilling anxiety to the listener and sets a tone for the next song.
A faint buzzing in the background soon replaces the tape, a few intimidating strums of an electric guitar later, and Daveed Diggs jumps in with his verse delivered with an angry tone. Accompanying him is the occasional bass boosted electric guitar strum. He raps yet again about death; he relates the life of someone to a weak movie with a dragged out final act. A rather dull verse, by El Camino, follows Daveed, as he messes up the mood a little with his raspy voice and meaningless verse. However, following Camino’s verse is an excellent verse from Benny the Butcher. His verse does not add much to the lyrical depth of the song, but Benny sounds excellent. Following Benny, again, is Daveed with a small verse opening each line with “rock, paper,” and a random object used in murders followed by how the murder happened. The end of this verse cuts into an extended period of prolonged, painful static giving the listener time to think of what Daveed would have said if he was not cut off.
A few loud distorted bell tolls start a menacing song, Daveed Diggs has a fantastic first verse, he uses a very dark delivery to discuss the problems of drug addicts around America. The song gets louder and more intense throughout its entirety and concludes with Daveed Diggs bringing the story of drugs back to its source of the drugs, the “Gangstas” who do not care at all.
A beat that sounds like a bunch of distorted breaths over a heartbeat opens the song up quickly, followed by Diggs’s first verse. He portrays the perspective of a homeless gangster running from a psychotic woman that kills for fun, as said in the chorus. Throughout the first two verses, the gangster runs into an alley and is described as lonely, hurt, and terrified. The gangster with nothing left to climbs into a rusty dumpster and shut the lid with a rather loud bang. La Chat raps the third verse, a female rapper with a profound verse, she does an outstanding job on this verse, but the person she portrays does not do the best things to the gangster. La Chat raps about catching the gangster, cutting him up, and killing him. After describing her deeds, La Chat raps about her disturbing enjoyment for killing people and even compares herself to Hannibal Lector, also known as Hannibal the Cannibal. A famous serial killer from the US known for killing and then consuming his victims. The song ends with the chorus and a few seconds of just the instrumental letting the story settle.
A deep ripple of a drum sounds as loud static plays off and on overtop of it. Digg’s raps over this strange beat and talks about a desire to be creative when killing people. He raps of all the different things available to him, as the descriptions send a chilling ripple down the listener’s spine. The song ends with the beat intensifying, which transitions into the next interlude of a doctor hypnotizing a woman into an obsession over blood.
The song opens with a woman yelling about a gospel verse involving Adam and Eve. The beat fades in at first with some slow distorted drum beats, and when the woman finishes, a bell starts to toll. Daveed Diggs then gives a low and short verse saying just two words at a time. After only four short lines, another segment of the woman talking about pimping plays. Again Diggs has a brief but slow verse saying just two words at a time in a very menacing voice as the third and final clip of the woman. The song concludes with a feature from Counterfeit Madison singing a prayer.
A relaxing scene of some birds chirping and the sound of a river flowing is played for plays several seconds but is soon cut off by a loud bassy beat and a killer verse by Daveed Diggs. On each of the verses throughout the song, Daveed shows off his rapping abilities, rapping extremely fast, especially in the final verse. Daveed starts the song by stating that the civil rights movement needs to come back, and throughout the song mentions several civil rights activists and their role in the battle for civil rights in the ’60s.
The track immediately opens with the beginning of Diggs’ verse. Diggs tells the horrifying story of “Cynthia,” a troubled woman hypnotized into an addiction towards blood. The story has been built up throughout all of Clipping’s albums, and this album is no exception. It starts with Kimberly, a victim’s girlfriend, witnessing a video of her boyfriend cheating on her with Cynthia. As Kimberly goes to the apartment to yell at her boyfriend, she finds him dead on the floor with a blood trail leading out the window and into the night. The perspective switches to Randy, a detective, and supplier of the video, who was at the bar to drink. Cynthia slowly lured him into a cab, and in the cab, Cynthia starts to bite and kill Randy, and quickly, the cabbie gets out and shoot her. The story ends with chilling details of Cynthia dying.
The final song on the album comes in with a loud static for a very long time. As the beat finally settles in the Daveed starts his verse. The song itself does not have much lyrical depth or material but instead used as an ending to the madness. Daveed uses a shallow, dark, fast, and creepy delivery to finish the album as the song transitions into a ridiculous twenty-minute period of a piano burning.
There Existed an Addiction to Blood is a horrifying album for any listener. The chilling stories and loud bassy beats are not always pleasing to listen to, and definitely, do not belong on any playlist. However, the chilling stories can be very intriguing. Although the execution throughout the album is excellent, it is not an album to revisit very often because of the constant static and unpleasant noises it samples.