Already this year, the UK has been spoilt rotten with exceptional rappers releasing exceptional projects and perhaps the most wildly eclectic of them all came from Chip. Technically a mixtape, the fascinating Snakes & Ladders is not a perfect project, but then mixtapes aren’t supposed to be—and it still stands as his best full-length yet.
What you need to consider is that 2021 Chip is on a journey. Piece by piece, the rapper’s putting his forbidden pop past behind him and getting back on track to where he’s always wanted to be. Snakes & Ladders is a response to his critics, both real and imagined. It’s also a resolute showcase of everything he can do: rap, grime, garage, and dancehall. There aren’t really any major missteps but there isn’t that indefinable something to tie it all together. The flashes of brilliance are greater in number and more frequent than any of his other projects, but he has yet to make the defining album of his career. Mind you, there are artists with more years and more albums under their belt who haven’t realised their full potential yet. Chip is, after all, only just 30 years old. We wouldn’t want him to peak this early—would you?
To make sense of it all, we put our heads together and asked ourselves three simple questions on where Chip sits in the UK music landscape. Is he one of British rap’s GOATs? Join us as we debate below.