Something of a rap veteran approaching 30, Chip almost gave up on the idea of a joint project with a friend and fellow Tottenham MC Skepta after a decade of false starts. “I told him, ‘You always say that, though, it’s been 10 years,’” he tells Apple Music.
“This time, he’s like, ‘No, I’m serious, man, and we need to get [D-Block Europe MC] Young Adz on a couple of tunes, too.’ I was working on a joint thing with Adz, kind of, just making tracks. They didn’t know each other, but I made sure we all met up the next day at 6 pm, and it started.”
The product of these sessions is 12 tracks which blur creative lines and crash through the current UK rap atmosphere. “Skepta’s the triple OG, Chip’s a double OG,” says Young Adz. “And me? I’m the Young OG.”
Insomnia is a celebration of all three’s ability to outlast, adapt, and reinvent in the most cutthroat of environments. A testament to this, Chip explains how the trio pushed themselves through a gauntlet of intense recording, pushing boundaries and testing out new elements. “There’s no trace.
There’s nothing, no pens, no writing down, just straight off the top,” he says. “The three of us have a tattoo that says ‘PAIN,’” Chip says. “I don’t think that we’ve ever spoken about it. I’ve got it on my shin, A’s got it on his forehead, and Skep’s is on his wrist. I think there’s something a bit deeper that aligns us, more than just the music stuff.” Here, Chip pulls back the curtain on the trio’s connection, revealing the all-night workings behind Insomnia with a track-by-track guide.