Experimental hip-hop group Clipping have ventured into dark territory with their stream of singles ahead of There Existed an Addiction to Blood. The group, fronted by Hamilton actor Daveed Diggs, have continually pushed the envelope of musical experimentation, and the cuts off their forthcoming record have shown a new, horrific side of Clipping. The album is inspired by the hyper-violence of vintage horror films—a project well suited for its October release. The group’s latest track, “Blood of the Fang,” uses vampiric comparisons to illuminate the very real violence incited by racism, raising gruesome imagery in its accompanying video.
“Blood of the Fang” draws comparison between the violent lives of vampires and civil rights-era black power activists. Over a repeated sample from the ‘73 vampire horror film Ganja and Hess that sings, “There existed an addiction to blood,” Diggs refers to Black Panther figureheads Huey Newton as “King Huey” and Angela Davis as “Queen Angela.” Later on, he quotes Malcom X, rapping, “Brother Malcolm done told y’all, ‘By any means.’” In his final, rapidly spit verse, Diggs urges his listeners to “digest the flesh of every wicked human,” making the necessity of violence against oppressors clear.
Scenes in the video for “Blood of the Fang” bring Diggs’ violent lyrics into a shocking visual realm with a fair share of symbolism left up to us to decipher. The video opens with Diggs waking up handcuffed to an operating table. Later on, Diggs takes the role of a masked surgeon aggressively operating on an AK-47. When sliced open, the gun sprays blood while surgeons pull out its internal organs. After the final line of “Death ain’t shit,” Diggs takes a few pensive bites out of the gun, now in his hands. By eating the weapon, Diggs shows that he has become one with it—violent retaliation to racial oppression has been instilled in his blood.
There Existed an Addiction to Blood is set for release Oct. 18 on Sub Pop, and can be preordered here. Preorders also come with tickets to Clipping’s Oct. 8 in-store performance at Rough Trade in NYC. Clipping will be briefly touring North America through October to support the record. You can watch the video for “Blood of the Fang” below and find their tour dates further down.
Clipping Tour Dates:
08 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Rough Trade NYC [7 pm – All Ages]
09 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Zone One at Elsewhere [Sold Out]
10 – Washington, D.C. @ U Street Music Hall
11 – Toronto, Ont. @ The Garrison *
14 – Oakland, Calif. @ The New Parish
16 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Adult Swim Festival
(* w/ Cartel Madras)