Chipmunk - 'Diamond Rings'
I am all for people taking inspiration from the artists they love the most. There's no other way music could work, and in a way it's an act of supreme arrogance to assume that you are bringing anything actually properly NEW to the table, when you're still dealing with the same 12 notes and the same set of tempos as everyone else.
That goes double for rappers, who may claim to be the most original and distinctive people in the world, but don't even have a distinctive melody to show this off. It's all in how they choose to say the words they use.
Having said all that, if Chipmunk's impression of A Certain American Boy were any more pronounced on this record, we'd have to start calling him Kanye East.
(Here's the video. Two words: Bugsy Malone)
It's all in that vocal swoop at the end of each line - "I gotta keep on rhyming, maaaaan" - and the conversational, soft tone of voice. It helps that he is a dapper dresser too, and good at the rhyming. And if you're going to be inspired by anyone, why not pick the best?
There again, it's quite hard to take Chipmunk seriously as the hard-bragging, hard-to-beat, rhyme hardnut he is in his lyrics, when he's at such a tender age. All you really want to do is pat his pretty head and say "awww, you kids". He will grow into his own boasts, though, you watch.
Thankfully, the murky ska backing takes Chippers away from Kanye's current robo-versity, and into warmer, sunnier climes. And everybody knows ska is the perfect music for bowling along the street on a hot sunny day. Just ask Lily Allen. And at least if you're blasting out this song, people won't think you've nicked your dad's records.
Just keep Chippy away from the autotune. Brave as it is, the world does not need another '808s & Heartbreak', trust me.