Hip-Hop duo Chiddy Bang are one of hip-hop’s most thorough musical duos in the game.
These college buds Chiddy and Noah met at Drexel University in Philly and have been taking hip-hop to the next level with their fusion of artists like Radiohead, MGMT and Yelle in their music.
Chiddy Bang are currently the voices of Taco Bell’s new ad campaign soundtrack and boy oh boy, they sure do love some Taco Bell.
GlobalGrind caught up with the busy duo to talk about their musical inspirations, Chiddy’s 9 hour 18 minute and 22 second freestyle and of course, their deal with Taco Bell.
To cop some hot Chiddy Bang music click here.
Check out their exclusive interview below!
GlobalGrind: How do you feel about being the face of Taco Bell’s national ad campaign?
Chiddy Bang: I don’t know if we’re the face of Taco Bell’s ad campaign but we’re definitely the soundtrack to it.
How were you approached to be the musical soundtrack of Taco Bell?
We’ve been touring around the United States for close to a year and a half, two years. We’ve always been going to late night food spots like Taco Bell on tour and when they approached us to be a Feed the Beat artist we were like, it makes perfect sense.
They supply us with food while we’re on the road and we get to cross another thing to worry about on tour off our list. That’s how we came together and we have a whole bunch of awesome projects. We have remixes that I did of our music available on their Facebook. We got a show that we’re working on the 25th, a mixtape release show in Philly that we’re going to do with them. A bunch of crazy stuff.
What’s your favorite thing to get at Taco Bell?
A 9-layer burrito. It’s dope.
You guys sample music from MGMT and Radiohead. What is it about those artists’ music that you like so much?
A whole bunch of stuff just melodically speaks to us. On top of anything, it’s really Chiddy that has the ear from what will translate from across both an indie crowd and a rap crowd. Once he puts his ear to it back and forth, energy creates the song.
You guys met when you went to Drexel University?
Yeah, big shout out to Philly. Big shout to Drexel University.
Can you describe how you guys initially met and how you guys clicked with your music together?
Noah: I was a radio DJ and a club DJ, but I got fired from my club DJ job because I wasn’t 21. I decided to be at college parties and Chiddy was that kid who after he got a little tipsy, he’d be in the corner freestyle battling everybody and just winding them up and knocking them down. I was DJing obviously and I was like, ‘Whoa this kid can rap’ and we ended up doing a bunch of songs together just for fun and it kind of all got out of control way quicker than either of us expected.
Chiddy, you have a world record for freestyling for 9 hours, 18 minutes and 22 seconds. How in the world do you freestyle for that long?
Chiddy: Man I’m still tryna figure that out myself.
Noah: He’s writing a book. How to freestyle for 9 hours. There’s a healthy path and then there’s the not so healthy path and I think Chiddy is the master of one of them.
Chiddy:I took the not so healthy path and found a way to do it really. It just came down to me pacing myself. Before I was supposed to do this by MTV and my manager and he was like, ‘yo you should do this freestyle record for 9 hours.’ I was like, ‘yea I mean I can freestyle, everybody knows I can freestyle, but can I really freestyle for 9 hours? That’s a long time.’
Noah: He got a good nights sleep, to be fair.
Chiddy: I got a good night’s sleep, had a big breakfast. Shout out to MTV on the breakfast, you know we had to get them to hook it up. I just had a positive mind and believed I could honestly do it.
Noah: Meanwhile I thought I could just throw a beat on and loop it for an hour and go have a sandwich and come back. But I ended up being there and DJing and switching up the beat every 45 seconds for 9 hours. And I think it was that, plus the combination of his brother [Don] there to get the vibe right.
Chiddy, was there ever a moment when you wanted to quit?
Chiddy: I never felt like I was going to stop. But 4 hours in I was like, ‘whoa maybe I should [store] my energy better. Maybe I should rap less loud. Because if you’re rapping loud consistently, going hard from the beginning you’re going to die out. Your energy level is naturally going to drop after a couple hours. If you watch the freestyle video there’s a couple points where you see me just lamping just chilling on the couch. Just rapping low. He was like ‘what are you doing?’ and I said ‘I got this in the bag, I’m just saving my energy for the real.’
After you broke record what did you do afterwards?
Chiddy: We went back to the trailer, smoked a couple joints, smoked so many joints and then went to bed.
For everybody that doesn’t know, can you explain what ‘swelly’ means?
Chiddy: Swelly is really just a state of mind. I coined this term in high school with my boy CG. It’s an attitude. It’s pretty much anything that’s cool, anything that’s fly. If you are a doctor [in] philosophy then you are swell, you are a swellster, you are swelly, you get the concept. Listen to dope fresh music, whatever you do, whatever you’re involved with, you just put the conviction and passion into it. You just get your swell on. You just do whatever you do to the highest level. Pun intended.
How would you describe Chiddy Bang?
Chiddy: Essentially people try to put us in a box, it’s mainly because of the choice of samples that we use and the choice of beats I choose to rap over. But really we listen to the same hip-hop everyone else listens to. I was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. Just don’t get it twisted because you see one thing. It’s easy to perceive it as that. Really I’m just a rap head that just met my boy Noah who makes these crazy, quirky little beats.
Noah: Don’t get it twisted, I listen to Beanie Sigel every day before I take a shower. I listen to “The Becoming” from the first song to the end.
Chiddy: It’s just a combination of two different sounds that juxtapose together and make what we call the music we make.
Noah: It’s also the duo thing; there are not a lot of hip-hop duos around anymore. We lost Groove from GangStar, we had DJ Rob Bass and DJ Easy Rock back in the day. The whole producer-MC duo gives projects like albums and mixtapes another meaning because the production is unified and the writing is unified and there’s a sound to it. Versus these modern-day rappers who have one record with every big producer and are based more around singles. We wanted to tell a bigger story and work on larger pieces like mixtapes and albums. And we have a mixtape coming out on the 27th.
If you were sent to an island and could only take 3 albums with you what would you take?
Noah: I would take… man that is so hard, why you gotta do this to me? I would take “3 Feet High and Rising” by De La Soul. I’d probably have to expand over genres. I’d take “Global a Go-Go” by Joe Strum and the Mescaleros. Part of me wants to say I’ll take “The Becoming” by Beanie Sigel because that’s a all-time favorite record of mine, but I don’t really know what the vibe of this island is. If it’s on some chill shit I might take a Lester Young record or [Cobain], a joint, a jazz record.
Chiddy: I’d take “The Blueprint,” “College Dropout” and “Lord Willing” by the Clipse.
Who’s your favorite Philly rapper besides Beanie Siegel?
Noah: Blackthought is hands down the most underrated, underappreciated lyrical weapon in the world. I feel like people hear his voice and are just like ‘aight that’s hard’ but they don’t really zoom in and hear what he’s saying.
Chiddy: Everything is hard. The voice is hard, the delivery is hard, what he’s saying is hard.
Noah: In Philly there’s so many great rappers. Young Chris is amazing, Meek is amazing. Meek is crazy but people don’t really know the bubbleness of Philly. When he put out “Rose Red” they played that on the radio 11 times in a row.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
Noah: We’d probably agree on Kanye. But I want to work more with Jim Jones because he’s got the ill adlibs. He did a remix for us when our single first came out and it was amazing. He shot a video for it. He’s the coolest dude.
Do you guys want to share anything else with GlobalGrind?
Chiddy Bang: Mixtape on the 27th. Album in August. Eat at Taco Bell.
Hip-Hop duo Chiddy Bang.