Daveed Diggs Won Big Awards For Hamilton. His Hip-Hop Group’s New Song Is Pure Drama
A few months after bowing out of his final Hamilton performance on Broadway in 2016, rapper Daveed Diggs released an album with his Hip-Hop group, clipping. Following previous work with King T, Gangsta Boo, and Guce, the ’16 album Splendor & Misery was produced alongside his band-mates William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes. It presented a Sci-Fi tale of afro-futurism. The Hip-Hop Space Opera saw Diggs portraying a sole survivor aboard a space slave ship, while the artificial intelligence on the ship falls in love with him.
Splendor & Misery ultimately landed the group a nomination for a Hugo Award, for “Best Dramatic Presentation,” while critics praised Diggs’ rapping abilities and concepts; the album showcased highs with the sporadic and breakneck track “The Breach,” and the futuristic gangsta, literary-referencing “Air ‘Em Out.” Diggs later won a Tony and a Grammy from his Hamilton performance, and appeared on the ABC show Black-ish. Additionally, he co-starred in the 2017 film Wonder, and starring in Blindspotting, a film he wrote and produced.
Two years later, Diggs is back with clipping., and they’re preparing to release a new album on Sub Pop Records (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Shabazz Palaces). Due out this October, There Existed An Addiction to Blood, will fittingly be a Horrorcore record that is said to pull inspiration from ’90s acts like Gravediggaz, Three 6 Mafia and Geto Boys. The first song is called “Nothing Is Safe.” According to a press release, the song takes John Carpenter’s Assault On Precinct 13 and imagines it re-told as police raiding a trap-house.
The lyric video shows a VHS aesthetic, drawing inspiration from the title credits of director John Carpenter’s classic, Halloween, which he also scored. Diggs sets the scene with his first verse, introducing a tight-knit group of criminals, before ending his verse with an ambush. “Everyone safe and sound, this how family do / Only homies around, everyone here is crew / Somethin’ foul in the air, somethin’ feelin’ askew / Wind is in the pipes, is that whistle callin’ for you? / Don’t holler, it’s cool / Windows boarded and sealed, doors are bolted and locked / Product cookin’ on pace, weaponry fully stocked / Bodies sleepin’ in shifts, other bodies keep watch / Bullets are for anybody caught runnin’ up in the spot, the pop, the pop / Drop the lights, so drop low, something shot from the trees / Went straight through the front door, homie drop to his knees / Blood seepin’ from his neck, as he struggle to breathe / Wooden floor is stained wet, gets soft the more that he bleeds, he leaves, believe.”
The second verse sees the trap house’s inhabitants remaining silent and out of sight as they attempt to dodge their attackers. After a cell phone rings, more bullets spray, and Diggs delivers two potent lines on the growing body count: “Death is comin’ for you, but you already knew that / Thought the clique up brought you some safety up in this pack / But that didn’t add up, back up, stand up, strike a pose / With your gat up, that’s what they like, you suppose / They gon’ rack up, stack up that stuff that you stole / But the fact of status wrapped up in black cold / Caskets cannot be ignored, runnin’ so fast should had an award / Homies got gassed for cash from that score, y’all could have made a dash just after one more / So your foot up on the gas and smash ’round the corner, only one man was sent to the coroner / Wasn’t part of the plan, but damn the fast foreign whip was too quick to flip / And fast-forward, the past smashed every wall, pillar and floorboard / Ashes to ashes, dust in the lung, fire now on everything, Gasoline been poured, last piece of action ‘fore you succumb / Just catch a glance of what could have done this, somethin’ ’bout how he walks remind you of someone / You look and see a gun, a man with no face, a golden halo that could be the sun.”
There Existed An Addiction To Blood is set to feature guests like Griselda MCs Benny The Butcher and El Camino, as well as veteran Hypnotize Minds artist La Chat.
Here is the tracklist:
02. ‘Nothing Is Safe’
03. ‘He Dead’ [Feat. Ed Balloon]
04. ‘Haunting (Interlude)’
05. ‘La Mala Ordina’ [Feat The Rita, Benny the Butcher, and El Camino]
06. ‘Club Down’ [Feat. Sarah Bernat]
07. ‘Prophecy (Interlude)’
08. ‘Run for Your Life [Feat. La Chat]
09. ‘The Show’
10. ‘Possession (Interlude)’
11. ‘All in Your Head [Feat. Counterfeit Madison and Robyn Hood]
12. ‘Blood of the Fang’
13. ‘Story 7’
14. ‘Attunement’ [Feat. Pedestrian Deposit]
15. ‘Piano Burning (composed by Annea Lockwood)’