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Chipmunk - 'Diamond Rings'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:00 UK time, Friday, 3 July 2009

ChipmunkI 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.

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: July 6th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)


  • Comment number 1.

    Tune! Maaan.

    He sounds like a kid though, how old is he? I hope he's not a younger than me. I get very jealous! :p

  • Comment number 2.

    Enyoyable review to read, back on form, and echoes a lot of my thoughts.
    I have been likin and dancin to this song for what seems an absolute age !
    This will be a Top 20 hit , it bursts with energy , and the female singing the chorus with its catchy melody , really brings it to life.
    Love the ska overtones.
    Dan , I know that Chipmunk is taking exams as well as having a pop career , so yeah he is youngish.
    I am seeing Chip supporting Tinchey Stryder later in the year , for what should be a good rap battle.
    Prepare yourself for Nosh coming on and telling us she loves this track. xxx

  • Comment number 3.

    lol yeah i like this song x x

  • Comment number 4.

    I could hear this was a hit after one listen.

    Chipmunk-Diamond rings- Number 6 !

  • Comment number 5.

    yes, but he's called Chipmunk... and it's so kiddie...

    but I guess it isn't really aimed at me.

  • Comment number 6.

    What is the ska tune that this is using?
    If you know please let me know.

  • Comment number 7.

    I've found out that the tune being used is Jackie Mittoo and the Soul Brothers - Ska-culation recorded in Jamaica in about 1965.
    Chipmunk can't rap to save his life. The late Mr Mittoo would have not liked this at all. Neither would Mr 'Studio One' Clement Dodd. He co-wrote the original ska tune with Jackie. Clement had strict standards for all his artists which include Bob Marley and Marcia Griffiths.

  • Comment number 8.

    This is a fantastic tune, and a sure-fire hit!

    My only problem with this track is that it is slightly repetitive, but it does not bother me in the slightest, because the song is pure quality!

    The video is also excellent, might I add.


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