Round 37 FIGHT, ok a slight exaggeration there but I can safely say I’ve lost count of the lyrical volcanos Chip has found himself at the centre of over the past year or so. We only get a few months rest before red-hot chips are scooped from the bubbling, grease filled deep fat friar and hurled full force into the face of which ever opponent has annoyed the ‘Tottenham Taser tongued’ artist (or triple T for short as I now like to respectfully call him since his onslaught of freestyles have become a permanent fixture of entertainment in the Grime scene of late.
Who’s receiving jabs from Chip’s forked tongue this time? – Enter the ring Play Dirty member Yungen, the 24-year-old South London MC who first gained attention for his confident SBTV freestyle over the Linkin Park instrumental “Numb” his lyrical wordplay “I’m all about me, put me on the market I can sell fish” saw him quickly become one to watch. Since the exposure of that SBTV freestyle back in 2011 Yungen’s career has gone from strength to strength – he released the hugely popular street anthem “Aint on Nuttin” featuring Sneakbo and the even more popular remix featuring heavyweights Stormzy, Ghetts, Benny Banks, Angel and Cashtastic which confirmed to Grime heads that Yungen was definitely on the come up having gained the respect of the assembled Grime artists featured. In 2013 Yungen guested on the hugely successful Krept and Konan’s ‘Young Kingz’ mixtape which ironically also featured his target of war Chip. With the release of his own mixtape ‘Project Black and red’ with support from Krept, Konan and Sneakbo it was inevitable that a major record label would note his raw rhymes and marketable presence and Yungen recently signed a deal with Sony RCA records.
Since Chips’ return to the rough edges of Grime from the soft lighting of hip POP, you’d be forgiven for thinking Chip’s choice of dip is tabasco sauce, scotch bonnet pepper and Encona sauce all mixed into one big blazin brew of lava filled rockets which Chip is firing off from enemy lines at any one he deems disrespectful. Chips’ previous explosions all have the element of perception in common; the offender is then persecuted mercilessly by Chip’s acidic tongue until he has released his frustrations in as many replies as it takes to make himself heard – This could be as a result of leaving the underground scene to chase commercial success and then when that didn’t work in the way he had hoped he decided to return to a scene many believed he turned his back on. For Chip to come back to a scene which has seen changes and reinvention since his absence must be unsettling for him and whilst I don’t doubt some artists may be sending for Chip with the hope of elevating their career, I can’t help but think the frequency of Chips’ disses could also be down to a complex mix of his own insecurities, having to prove himself as a credible MC after his Oopsy Daisy days (which a lot of people on the scene still have not forgiven Chip for) and his general annoyance that he is not receiving the respect from his peers he feels he deserves.
The Yungen vs Chip beef seems to have come from the residue of Chips’ clash with Bugzy Malone and Tinie Tempah in which he released multiple diss tracks including “Light Work” “Run Out Riddim” and “Hat trick” mainly aimed at Manchester MC Bugzy Malone. Chip still not satisfied decided to spit his feelings over the JME produced “96 Bar revenge” in which he threw a few more flames. In the track he is at a loss as to why Tinie dissed him by mentioning “Pizza Boy” during his FITB session, he clearly feels hurt and betrayed as they were once friends. Elsewhere on the freestyle he fires shots at Bugzy “He ain’t Bane or Batman” and Charlie Sloth “Are you signed to Grimey Limey?…I’ll slew Grimey Limey’s whore” Chip went in raw with his lyrics and unwittingly started another war while he was busy taking out his enemies once and for all with lyrical grenades from the previous war! Interestingly Chip did not directly send for Yungen during his ‘96 Bar revenge’ but the lyric “Some of your best newcomers ain’t new, so if you’re gonna nominate Yungen, big up, but nominate Sneakbo too” was enough to see Yungen rush to the frontline like a war vet. To me it’s obvious Chip was in fact dissing the MOBO’s for not recognising people they’ve termed as ‘Newcomers’ sooner rather than the nominee’s themselves. He’s asking the MOBO’s to explain why they haven’t nominated Sneakbo too as he’s just as talented and been around for a similar length of time as Yungen, Chip also gives Yungen a “Big up” to congratulate him for receiving the nomination. Whether Yungen is feeling the sunshine from the Sony signing and has SON(y) stroke and sees this as an opportunity to boost his profile, he’s generally offended by Chip’s bar or it’s the blurred lines of perception rearing its head again who knows but Yungen decided he was going to respond like a big man instead of staying silent well like a Yungen!
At the beginning of this year Yungen decided to address Chips bar on his track “Comfy” which is your typical ‘Jump up, Jump up man pon road riddim’ nothing we haven’t heard before but it does the job and it’s catchy with a dutty B line. He compares himself to “A light skin Skepta” which is ambitious for a relatively new artist, he then follows that up with the brazen send “Man wanna talk about me at the MOBOs like I ain’t heard it, man wanna talk about my nomination like I don’t deserve it, man wanna bring me down, I know man was happy with the verdict” he then compares Chip to Kermit (which ‘coincidently’ is Tinie’s nickname for Chip.) One thing Yungen doesn’t lack is confidence and he displays it like a boxer entering the ring with flair and swag, but we all know Chip can’t run out of barz so we waited a little longer than we’re used to for Chips’ response. From where I’m sitting it seems as though Chip wanted to give Yungen the time to reflect on his chosen course of action confirmed by Chip asking Yungen via twitter if he was sure he wanted battle to commence and was also the reason he asked “Under the house of play dirty” as they both have alliances with Krept and Konan, even featuring on the same mixtape which is why I believe Chip was giving Yungen the chance to quit while he was ahead before he fell behind. Yungen asked Chip why he was showing off on twitter and asked him to contact him personally – this only confirms to me Yungen’s track “Comfy” was most likely for views and hype as he could have also contacted Chip about the perceived MOBOS diss but instead chose to include it on a freestyle he knew would be heard on a national scale.
Chip obviously didn’t think Yungen’s response warranted a truce and proceeded to drop his ‘One Take’ freestyle over the EPIC instrumental by Rude Kid and Ghetts (My gym favourite right about now, thanks bwoys!) Now I’ll admit I was too busy bouncing to the beat like I do on the gym ball at the gym to really hear what Chip was saying (The beat is just too sick to sit still) but with each listen the bars started to hit hard. Chip is ruthless, Chip does not care – he relegates Yungen to a side man “You’re a little man if you ain’t top 2 in your crew” he also points out something that has baffled me for while regarding Yungen which is his constant reference to his skin tone “Think man care about your skin colour, no that don’t help you bar better” he then warns “You brought this on yourself, you’re gonna need more help, oi fam are you tryna be buggin alone as well” At the beginning of the track Chip asks Yungen “Now why you racing the beat, slow down fam you sound lost” this line in particular made their distinctive styles suddenly clear to me – Upon first listen to Yungen’s tracks his hunger, urgency ,tempo and fire makes you believe he has won every round if not most due to his hectic rhythm in comparison Chips laboured and staggered flow on the ‘One Take freestyle’ is to ensure the listener impales himself / herself on every single word – Chip wants Yungen to feel every sting, shot and burn as harshly as possible which is the reason for his measured flow which still somehow manages to contain technical wit and wordplay. Chips’ freestyle had the desired effect as Yungen came out swinging with a solid uppercut to the jaw with his pre-recorded freestyle an hour later titled “Punk (Shitmunk diss)” Yungen really does come into his own here and presents a dizzying maze of subtext and hidden meanings you have to dig deep to find, before you unearth the treasures buried such as “Yeah you’re from Tottenham but man can’t C U (i)N T that’s how I know you’re a cu*t which is pure fiiyaaa, he also cleverly disses Chip using the names of football players from Chips home town team Tottenham hotspur – “Yeah rows (Danny Rose) in the alley (Dele Alli) your man got bunned” Yungen’s ability to flip a meaning and twist words beyond recognition is incredible and I have a respect for him which was non-existent before I heard this track. Elsewhere on the track Yungen annoyingly mentions his complexion again as though ‘Team lighty’ had its own stadium, football chants and placement on the premiership table “You went from no. 1 to a diss track, you’re a disgrace to all us lightly’s” I can’t help but think this line would have packed more heat if Yungen had made Chip the outcast of the whole Grime community rather than the juvenile taunt of team light skin which Chip has clearly stated he does not endorse, knowing this softens the blow of Yungens’ intended jab. The line which burns the most on the track is Yungen pointing out that everyone Chip sends for – Tinie, Bugzy and Big Narstie ends up charting while he doesn’t have the same success off the back of his own disses “You’re the only one who ain’t charting you bastard” cold but yet so effective I was ready to bow down and give Yungen the damn crown and pass round fried chips to one and all – you know those deep fat fryer crispy ones?!
But everything changed when Chip dropped what might be the most hilarious and hurtful Grime diss I have ever heard and has had me continually creased for the past 20+ hours. Chip committed MASS slayings with the full on nuclear attack he launched with “Michelle Riddim (Lil Clive Diss)” just as Yungen tried to humiliate Chip with a soundbite on his track “punk” where Meek mill is asked which UK rappers he knew and instantly answers Tinie (Chips’ nemesis) but struggled to remember Chips name even though they had recently collabed on the tack “Pizza Boy” together. Here it was Chips turn to humiliate Yungen aka Clive with a soundbite of Yungen telling NFTR hosts he got into the Grime scene because of Chip and it was Chip he looked up to back in the day. Chip fries Yungen with relentless ridicule – he tells him he’ll pepper his ‘clart and still have time to drop his verse on Krept and Konan’s “Don’t waste my time” he calls out Tinie’s appearance in Yungen’s “Punk” video and terms him a backup dancer, he states that the word ‘lighty’ should only be used in reference to females and then ridicules him further and labels him the Michelle of his crew (irrelevant and cast in shadows) compared to the superstardom of Krept and Konan’s ‘Destiny’s child’ type fame. He crushes Yungen’s sexual prowess by claiming the same girl they messed with told Chip he put it on her better than Yungen when Chip made her “play dirty.” Stand out line on this superior diss track is “ You was lost on the long way home” alluding to the fact that although Chip featured on Krept and Konan’s 2014 mixtape Young Kingz he was nowhere to be heard to their 2015 album “The long way home.” Just when I tried to regain my composure after Chip’s relentless tongue lashing he then turned up the heat to blow torch levels with “Ah Patrick Patrick what have you done?” As though Patrick were Chip’s unruly son who had pushed the boundaries and needed putting in his place! My jaw was (and still is) on the floor at the no chill factor Chip was hittin’ us with bar after bar. Chip addresses the fact that he took Patrick aka Tinie on tour with him before he blew up and Tinie’s mum was so grateful she went out of her way to thank Chip for looking out for him (all this is said in an affected African accent in mimicry of Tinie Tempah’s mum; he then says sorry to Tinie’s mum for his harsh words but makes it clear to Tinie’s mum her Patrick’s alleged betrayal warrants it. This track goes beyond the bantering and boasting showcased on the previous diss tracks by both Yungen and Chip this is a savage ‘Don’t f*ck with me message’ from chip, it’s stark, ruthless and extremely personal which makes it hit all the more harder as these aren’t cheap shots they are an expression of hurt and betrayal in its rawest form.
So what next? Will Tinie finally respond to Chip now he’s dissed his mum? Will Skepta drop Konichiwa and kill off Yungen’s fantasy that he is the ‘Light Skin Skepta’ Will Tinie’s mum form a duo with Stormzy’s mum called ‘Wicked Skengmums’ and beat down all the mandem with their slippers? Only time will tell, but for now let’s all kick back and enjoy the next round with a few slices of pizza!
To be continued….