Chip’S Grand Hustle
Chip, formerly known as Chipmunk, hit headlines last night when it was announced that he had been signed to T.I.’s record label, Grand Hustle. The north London rapper has had his name planted firmly in the scene for five years now and that’s not just due to his raw talent, but his business brain and undetermined vision as well...
Although Chip was just a teenager when he released 'Who Are You?' – as we watched his growth from a boy to a man – we also watched Chip take a musical journey which saw him please the underground fans, the mainstream masses and eventually hitting overseas with his style of rap. Many did not agree with the sound of 'Oopsy Daisy' or 'Diamond Rings' (the song that gave Emeli Sandé her platform) but it was a successful method, as Chip said in a freestyle that he has "more cash than followers."
In 2010, Chipmunk featured on MTV’s Best Of The Best: UK MCs list at No. 10, tied with Lowkey. But as his audience grew, he shot up the list and was placed at No. 4 in 2011's controversial list. Panellists pointed out that Chip has fed the charts and he’s fed the streets as well, and that can be the most difficult balance for an artist to find. After gaining several top 10 hits, including a No. 1 from his pop-sounding endeavours on 'I Am Chipmunk', Chip got to work on his second album, 'Transition'.
With tracks featuring Chris Brown, Movado, Keri Hilson and Trey Songz, it seemed Chip had reached his element and his smooth British accent and swagger was to win over the US masses. He later released 'Spazzz.com', one of his most popular mixtapes to date, which featured covers like 'Otis' and 'Moment For Life' and pleased fans from both sides of the Atlantic.
Rumours began to spread that Chip and other artists were to be dropped from his label, Sony, as they had a company restructure. Rumours also circulated that Chip’s sales didn’t generate enough money to cover what was spent on his international work. Never one to go down in a sinking ship, Chip found a way out of his record deal and started giving back to the fans that had supported him from the beginning.
He chopped his name in half, from Chipmunk to Chip, and began to go through another transition – continuing to release online videos, including a cover of Tyga’s 'Rack City' which got over 70,000 views in under two days. This only proved that Chip didn’t need a label, because his fans appreciated his music however it is packaged. Now that T.I. has officially announced that Chip is part of his Grand Hustle label, we can only hope that the 21-year-old is in a place where he can grow into the artist that he truly wants to be.
Well done, Chip.
Words: Maz Khan (@MazHalima)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)