Chip is perhaps one of the most versatile artists to emerge from the UK in the 21st century.
From his youthful grime-scene emergence with the assertive offering “Who Are You” to his mature self-awareness on his Daily Duppy freestyle, Chip has always possessed a flair for lyrical assassination and his verses always offer layers and excitement.
With a catalogue that spans well over a decade, choosing the boldest and brightest from Chip’s discography is a difficult task without being allowed to write without restriction.
To celebrate the release of Snakes and Ladders, here are 11 of Chip’s Hidden Gems but beware, this list is nor exhaustive nor reflective or the sheer power that Chip’s 15-year-old long discography holds.
Before we delve into Chip’s older mixtape cuts, here is a track taken from Chip’s 2018 album Ten10.
Chip, of course, can’t run out of bars but this track is a hidden gem thanks to its exploration of Chip’s melodic and romantic side.
With warm vocals and amorous offerings throughout, Chip contrasts with his often brazen rhymes on this one as he serenades a love interest.
This track should be celebrated as one of the best UK R&B tracks of the last decade and with Valentine’s Day around the corner, don’t be shy about adding this track to your playlist.
10) “Under Oath” ft. Trae the Truth
Chip is able to switch between rap, grime and whatever else he chooses with ease – there is no disputing this.
On his 2012 release London Boy, Chip offers a superb hip-hop offering that houses his unique cadence over a melody-sampling instrumental.
The track sonically resembles the classic hip-hop tracks from our musical forefathers who built legacies.
With tracks like “Under Oath” under his belt, Chip has made it clear the trajectory he wishes to achieve.
9) “The Loop (Outro)“
This track is one of Chip’s many reflective offerings where he dips between biographical bars, present-day introspection and aspirational commentary.
This track acted as the closer to 2017’s League Of My Own II and thanks to its honesty and rawness, we’re allowed intimate analysis of Chip’s closing thoughts.
With its minimalist instrumental which loops a piano melody, Chip is given the perfect canvas to offer his thoughts and the result is one of the best tracks in his catalogue.
8) “Forever” Remix featuring Sway, Sincere & Wretch 32
Taken from the soundtrack to Lebron James’ documentary More than a Game, “Forever” is one of the noughties’ most important rap offerings.
With Drake, Lil Wayne, Eminem and Kanye West on the track, the song featured some of the genre’s biggest heavyweights.
On Chip’s version, he stayed true to the theme of the original and shared the stage with some of the UK’s hardest spitters.
At just over seven minutes long, every second of this track is worth it as Chip and his chosen collaborators evidence their talents.
Chip’s voice is youthful on this one, you can hear a higher pitch to his tone as he spits his cheeky and carefully-crafted bars on the track’s opening verse.
7) “Suck Yourself” (With N-Dubz)
Chip and N-Dubz have collaborated several times and their works were always quality.
This one is an underrated highlight though as Chip joins the N-Dubz guys to offer a braggadocios verse that showcased his ability to ride a quick tempo instrumental and remain in control.
6) “On The Rock Freestyle“
Just before Mavado and Chip began their working relationship and offered us the UK dancehall classic that is “Every Gyal”, Chip remixed Mavado’s crossover hit “On the Rock”.
The gospel-incorporating dancehall hit offered Chip the chance to showcase his Jamaican roots and his faith in God.
The track is a hidden gem purely for Chip’s ability to make the track his own and embody its spirit.
Chip perfectly balances himself within Mavado’s composition and the result is less of a freestyle and more worthy of the title of an official remix.
5) “In The Army“
With Chip gaining mainstream attention well before many of us had finished our GCSE exams, it’s easy to forget how young Chip was when he offered us some of his most reflective and raw deep cuts.
Growing up in Tottenham, Chip has never been shy about the horrors he has seen in his home environment.
“In the Army” reflects on deprivation, youth crime, society and social constructs.
With such an eye for what causes disorder, Chip acts as a social scientist with his bars on this one as he explores some of urban London’s most damning discrepancies with middle class England.
4) “My Life”
Wise beyond his years, Chip again touches on some of the perils he has experienced during his time.
Exploring the dark side of fame and success on this one, Chip is vulnerable and honest in his bars here as he makes his inner-battles and the pressures he experiences from outsiders explicitly clear.
Finding success in music at such a young age, it’s hard not to hear his bars on this one and to not sympathise with the young adolescent that had to grow up before our eyes, often with scrutiny from both the public and his peers.
3) “Light Up Central” featuring Frisco and Black the Ripper
Featuring Frisco and Black the Ripper, this heavyweight offering is perhaps one of Chip’s best.
With an aggressive instrumental and assertive lyrics from each artist that perfectly showcases their lyricism, “Light Up Central” is a commendable offering which perfectly exemplifies all of the elements that brought grime and now UK drill to the forefront of global music.
Chip isn’t afraid to talk about his achievements on this one or call for any naysayers to challenge him in a clash – an arena in which we know Chip shines.
2) “16 Years“
Borrowing the instrumental to Ma$e’s “What You Want” and subsequently sampling Curtis Mayfield’s “Right On For The Darkness”, Chip uses “16 Years” to maturely articulate his growing pains and offers listeners advice inspired by his past perils.
Chip has always critiqued the harshness of the roads and this track is just an early example.
Newer tracks like “Good Morning Britain” do the same and Chip uses his adult experiences to add greater context to his rhymes.
The opening track to Chip’s Whatever The Weather Vol.2 is this lyrical onslaught which houses fiery bars from the onset.
Chip assassinates the instrumental on this one, remaining ruthless and sharp throughout as he offers an intense and excellent display of artistry and lyricism.
“Aren” is an early release from Chip but he thankfully still embodies the same energy he has on this track in his artist formation today.
Chip prides himself on the power and weaponry of his pen and tracks like “Aren” prove that his sword has always been mighty.