Chiddy Bang’s 2010 breakout hit, “Opposite of Adults”, was the epitome of what a pop-rap song should be. The track featured a sample of a recent crossover hit (MGMT’s “Kids”), an electro-pop beat, and a hook that was catchy enough to be memorable, but not so much as to become grating with repeated listens. Chiddy’s debut LP, Breakfast, attempts to recreate the magic of that pop gem, but, for the most part, fails dismally.
“Opposite of Adults” was an immaculately produced track, crying out for radio play. The tracks on Breakfast, while similarly pristinely engineered, fail as a result of their featured MC’s complete lack of appeal. The entire purpose of the record seems to be to emulate Chiddy’s contemporaries, and it does so acutely. But the main pitfall of the album is the rapper’s inability to channel what it is that makes his peers so engaging. He lacks the unfettered emotion of Kanye West, the genuinely witty wordplay of Childish Gambino, or the quasi-ironic aggression of Tyler the Creator. It is this absence of charisma that makes Breakfast such an intensely unenjoyable listen.
Unabashedly trite production aside, the most irritating aspect of Breakfast is the painfully lazy lyricism. Chiddy repeatedly reassures the audience that he’s “pretty much amazing”, but demonstrates nothing to back up such a claim. On the album’s title track, the rapper incites his audience to “have breakfast”, then proceeds to list a number of kitchen utensils. That’s the whole chorus. If you think you’re missing the point, don’t worry; there isn’t one. Sure, inspired lyricism isn’t exactly a necessity in modern pop music, but when your music lacks any other kind of enticing feature (a catchy hook, for instance), then it needs to have some substance to make the listen worthwhile.
It’s not as though there’s absolutely nothing to like about this record: tracks like “Ray Charles” and “Out 2 Space” have a shallow joyousness to them that gives them a fleeting charm. But, for the most part, Breakfast is unrewarding, remarkably forgettable, and far less essential than its titular meal.
Review score: 3.8 out of 10