Sound & Color
Chipmunk may have set a new, unwanted musical record: he has sold out his vision by the age of 20.
The Tottenham rapper christened Jahmaal Fyffe seemed a rare talent when he emerged in 2009, firing idiosyncratic rapid-fire rhymes over mutant grime beats on I Am Chipmunk, a debut album that fully deserved to go platinum.
A mere two years on, Fyffe's follow-up finds him succumbing to the tired current template for hip-hop/R&B albums: slick urban beats, trite choruses and tired bragging about his own musical magnificence.
It's an album that is big on production but low on personality, with a succession of US stars including Chris Brown, Keri Hilson and Trey Songz adding little to the project except for their names.
Chipmunk is most interesting when most maverick, rapping in a mock-received pronunciation accent on Foul ("I'm a shampoo above you – yeah, head and shoulders") and swapping rhymes with fellow N17 grime maestro Wretch 31 on Armageddon. His skills remain intact – he just needs to sack his A&R man.