Chip Tha Ripper gained recognition in 2007 following the viral ‘Interior Crocodile Alligator’ meme – one of the first true memes of the internet age. Now, with his latest album, The Charles Worth LP, he’s reminding audiences that he has the consistently brilliant artistry that most rappers could only dream of
Back in 2007, the internet was a bit of a Wild West. These were the days before regulation. Before social media properly took off. Before anyone knew what they were doing. Against this backdrop, it felt like anything could happen.
So, in 2007, when rapper Chip Tha Ripper appeared on PrettyBoy Floyd’s Street Starz Radio show and performed his ‘S.L.A.B. Freestyle’ – later known as the ‘Interior Crocodile Alligator’ freestyle – and found himself going internationally ‘viral’ (an online term that was still new to most people at this stage), he didn’t question it for a second.
Chip had spent years honing his craft and developing himself into one of the most articulate rappers on the Cleveland scene. His ‘S.L.A.B Freestyle’ became a jokey meme, but it also allowed him to start seriously building an audience who would appreciate his music.
Since then, Chip has developed into a seriously prolific rapper and writer. He has released dozens of mixtapes, albums, and singles over the last two decades, and he is well-known for his close partnership with fellow Cleveland artist Kid Cudi.
His albums typically receive instant critical acclaim, with Chip offering a freewheeling, unpredictable approach to his music so that his fans never know what to expect.
The rapper has said he doesn’t like to stick to patterns when making music, preferring to do things firmly outside the box. “My recording process is very unorthodox and does not have a particular method to the madness,” he is quoted as saying.
But this style has helped him keep things fresh, even 17 years since he dropped his debut mixtape. Chip raps on The Charles Worth LP like he’s ducking and weaving through different styles, never letting anything sound boring or the same.
On this album, he effortlessly teams up with some of the most prominent artists in the game, including fellow rap artist Wiz Khalifa and the hundred-million-streaming Detroit artist DeJ Loaf. His collaboration with DeJ for the song ‘Gotta Believe’ is one of the album’s understated highlights. The song’s lyrics also give an insight into Chip’s motivated mentality and how he’s kept his sound so fresh for so long. In one of the verses, he sings: “I never took a class on how to believe in myself…and I don’t always agree with myself/[But]I gotta vision even if no one else can see it.”
There might not be any method to his madness, but whatever Chip does, he continues to do it brilliantly. The Charles Worth LP is another excellent release.