Visions of Bodies Being Burned is the 4th studio album by heavily acclaimed experimental hip hop group Clipping. Being the second installment in a horrorcore infused hip hop series that started with 2019s There existed An Addiction To Blood, the trio looks to build upon the themes and narratives from their previous record. With a history of improving on each release, will Clipping continue their upward trajectory and create their magnum opus?
Describing the record in one word or phrase is nearly impossible due to the explosion of thoughts and ideas inside the world Clipping has created. When it comes to the art of world-building, Lead vocalist Daveed Diggs proves he’s a true master, conveying themes of pain and tremor to a whole new degree. The storytelling that comes with this otherworldly ability to provide a detailed cinematic scene playing out right in front of our eyes is astounding and highlighted on “Something Underneath” and “Say the Name”. Taking the words running through his mind and turning them into visions, the 38-year-old rapper is able to sow into your soul time and time again. Three times this unique lyrical attack is done to perfection is on “She Bad”, “Check the Lock”, and “Body for the Pile”. The only thing that can take away from this is the recklessly fast flows seen on cuts like “Make Them Dead”. Although Diggs’s intent is to convey a sense of panic and alarm, it takes away from the impact of the pain and torture embedded in his songwriting. Conceptually, is where the album comes full circle and its certainly necessary to explain the story being told within the sonic madness. Revolving around the same bloodthirsty female character from There Existed an Addiction to Blood, her arc is explored and developed throughout each track. At its peak, featured artists Cam and China rap from her perspective on “’96 Neve Campbell” and on “She Bad” her current living situation is explained. “Pain Everyday” is another significant track as this demon of a character tells us that her hatred of living is what causes her to be the murderous feign she is. This is just scratching the surface of the stories and narratives inside the album, but it is enough to justify Daveed Digg’s and Clipping’s artistic merit.
Sonically, the production is abrasive and experimental, which is nothing out of the ordinary for the group at this point. With a strange array of varying sounds, including industrial aggression, haunting string sections, and gentle ambient production, listeners are definitely throwm for some ride. One moment your listening to something you’d hear off of the first half of Death Grip’s The Powers That B, and the next, you’ve been teleported to a dark field hearing a menacing hum under the blares of nearby farm animals, presumably being slaughtered. One incredible touch is the ghostly choir added into the song “Make Them Dead” as its strong anti-Christian, religious, and conservative themes are contrasted with gospel singers drowning the background out with the single word “dead”. While being challenging to get through at times, Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson continue to show that they are some of the most forward-thinking minds in all of hip hop.
In summary, Visions of Bodies Being Burned was a very strange but great experience, only suffering from being pretty similar to its predecessor. While Clipping certainly expands on their ability to create exciting concepts and cadences, the sonic side of the LP fails to reach the next level despite all of its intricacies. The star of the record was undeniably Daveed Digg’s as his rapping ability seems to have improved, and his creation of stories and concepts has only gotten more frightening. Even though its not the major step forward for the acclaimed trio, their 4th LP is still another great addition to their continuously building library.
- Hard to swallow concepts
- Daveed Digg’s notable improvement
- Amazing production
- Adds to the world of its predecessor
- Too similar to their previous record
Written By: Gabriel Gibboni
Scored and edited by: Marc Dator, owner and founder of Fantastic Hip Hop