Skipp Whitman | Skipp City

Self-released (2010)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 22, 2010
3.5 3.5 Stars

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Believe it or not, I was hardly expecting one of the freshest rap discs this year to come out of Brookline. Yet Skipp Whitman, after a half-decade of lurking around the local scene, has delivered a commercially accessible underground gem that no East Coast enthusiast could deny. In a huge feat, Skipp produced every beat here, sampling a stealth range of melancholy staples from "Amazing Grace" to "Destination Unknown." With that, he wove his story through the canvas, communicating stoned suburban struggles without sounding like a whiny bitch. There's a commendable level of honesty here. "Never Told a Lie," in addition to summoning Jay-Z's classic "Where I'm From," will get listeners more closely acquainted with Skipp than they ever were with fraudulent radio rap dingbats whom they've forever worshipped. Same goes for "Goodguy" and "Top of the World," the former of which is a rare autobiographic cut that could get Jersey rats fist-pumping. As he says on the opening "Release Dates," Skipp's been waiting years to drop a debut. But though procrastination can equal suicide in modern music, it's encouraging to know that some rappers still have enough patience to develop complete projects fit for front-to-back rotation.

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