Chiddy Bang’s Chiddy grew up in Newark, New Jersey, listening to New York radio station Hot 97. We sat down with the Guinness World Record holder to get his Top 5 Songs on the Radio when he was growing up.
5. Song: “O.P.P.” (1991)
Artist: Naughty By Nature
“When I grew up in Jersey, it was getting play. Still. One of the reasons I heard them is that I used to be next door neighbors to them. My family, we moved to Orange and lived in East Orange. My parents used to always see them and they’d be riding down the streets on their [ATVs]. It was just wild.
I grew up listening to that song and the flow on that is crazy. I feel like that format of what they’re saying, how do you have that much dexterity in what you’re saying? It’s just flowing as well. It’s just awesome. I think that song is just the epitome of awesome. And, it’s a Jackson 5 sample so it feels naturally youthful in the beat and the bounce. It’s up-tempo. That’s one of my favorite songs. The way Treach inflected his voice in the flow was so charismatic. You can tell it’s from a different time. It’s a classic gem.”
4. Song: “Jesus Walks” (2004)
Artist: Kanye West
“I’m Nigerian and my parents are Nigerian. I grew up in a very, very religious household, so I think that was my moment to have a hip-hop song that I could actually play for them and no matter what, when that hook comes on, they can’t deny that.
There was a period of my childhood when my parents would downtalk hip-hop, not necessarily devoted to shitting on it, but they’d be like, ‘Why are you doing that? Quit this. They don’t go anywhere.’ That type of stuff.
“Jesus Walks” was my opportunity to show them there’s music that’s deeper and at the same time is a hit. How are you going to have a hit song on the radio about God? He said it. If I talk about God my record won’t get played. But it did. That’s pretty genius right there. I can’t front.”
3. Song: “All Falls Down” (2004)
Artist: Kanye West
“That song was very, very relatable. That’s the thing. That is an example of Kanye West’s relatability. As an MC, you could take that format because that’s what hip-hop started on, inspiration, taking and drawing from different places. Artists reference each other.
We continue on this cycle of creation and taking shit and making shit, sampling, flipping things and putting things in new contexts. ‘Ye doing “All Falls Down,” it was one of those songs that enabled me to be like, ‘Damn, I could make a song that maybe isn’t as relatable, but I’ll try and I’ll almost get there.’ He was like, ‘I’m so self-conscious.’ When you try to make songs with concepts and themes, sometimes the best theme is just life.”
2. Song: “Big Pimpin’” (1999)
Artist: Jay-Z featuring UGK
“I felt the way they got both worlds. They got the New York world and sort of brought the Southern world into it. They brought the OG Bun B, and rest in peace Pimp C, from UGK. He brought them in there and just danced on a Timbo beat. If you listen to that flow back then, they danced on that.
Jay-Z, I’m thanking him too, because he’s one of the earliest people that really adjusted to every single beat, adjusted his flow. He just switches it up. He cuts through the mic, too. You hear every single word he’s saying.
As a rapper, an MC, you don’t just want to rap and say a bunch of cool shit but then nobody hears you. One of the things about me, when I spit it, I’m going to make sure you hear me. I try to aim for that because at the end of the day, it’s better than having a whole bunch of shit that no one really understands but it’s cool. You will know my train of thought at the end of my verse. You will know exactly what’s good.”
1. Song: “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” (1998)
“I loved the way he used the kids on the chorus, and it was ‘Annie.’ I’d seen ‘Annie’ and I loved the movie and the play. I loved everything about it. I was young. I was 8-years old at this time and the recipe [with the kids singing] was a recipe for success.
Of course I would like that. I fit the demographic of someone who would like that. I just loved it and accepted it. I loved the gritty New York rap coming up. I listened to a lot of Jay-Z. Jay-Z influenced me heavily early on, from when I was 8 to 18.”
For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker
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