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L to R: Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Snipes, William Hutson

It’s clipping., bitch!

clipping. is an experimental Hip-Hop trio consisting of rapper Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, the Getback) and producers William Hutson (Tattered Syntax, Rale) and Jonathan Snipes (Captain Ahab).

The group's signature sound revolves around screwball experimentation with the tropes and themes found in hip-hop in pretty much every way imaginable. For one, their instruments have ranged from standard fare (DAWs, samplers, drum machines) to out of the ordinary (tubular bells, a giant modular synthesizer, household objects) to just plain bizarre (test equipment, chunks of metal, highly specialized electronics, no-input feedback emulators). This also carries on to Diggs' writings — he may subvert tropes, he may avert tropes, he may even downplay or exaggerate them, but he hardly ever plays them dead straight.

Contrary to popular belief, this abrasive style is not explicitly formed as a rejection of the mainstream. In fact, they based it around the traits they found endemic to the greats of the genre. As a result, they dislike genre mashup labels such as "noise rap" and "industrial rap", self-identifying as solely a rap group.

The group started in 2009 when Hutson and Snipes, old college friends, began remixing acapellas from mainstream songs with the noise and power electronics-influenced beats they would create together for their amusement. In 2010, Hutson’s childhood friend Diggs joined and began writing his own raps over their productions. The trio later independently released the mixtape midcity in early 2013, receiving major acclaim with low expectations and minimal promotion, and signed to the record label Sub Pop five months later.

Their sci-fi concept album Splendor and Misery was nominated for a Hugo Award in 2017 in the "Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)" category, the first time the Hugos have recognized a music album since 1971. In 2018, their single "The Deep" was also nominated for a Hugo.


  • dba118 (EP; 2012)
    • Facenote  (2018)
  • midcity (mixtape; 2013)
    • midcity acapellas (2016)
  • CLPPNG (album; 2014)
    • CLPPNG acapellas (2016)
    • DREAM REMXnote  (2016)
    • REMXNG (remix album; 2016)
  • Wriggle (EP; 2016)
    • Wriggle (Expanded)note  (2021)
  • Splendor & Misery (album; 2016)
  • There Existed An Addiction To Blood (album; 2019)
  • Double Live (with Christopher Fleeger)note  (live album; 2020)
  • Visions of Bodies Being Burned (album; 2020)


  • The Aggressive Drug Dealer: "La Mala Ordina" takes it one step further — Daveed implies from the first verse that they'll kill you if you don't buy their drugs, and possibly even if you do.
  • Album Intro Track: All of their main projects open with one and tend to have the same features; see Once an Episode below.
  • Album Title Drop:
    • In "A Better Place":
      He's missing something pretty.
      He's missing where the air tastes gritty.
      He's missing the splendor and misery
      of bodies, of cities, of being missed.
    • In "Blood of the Fang", as sampled from the Ganja and Hess theme:
      By the Christians it is written
      that in the black Myrthian age,
      there existed an addiction to blood among its people.
      • There's also a smaller one in La Chat's verse on "Run For Your Life":
        I'm so addicted to blood, I'm cuttin' your body up.
    • Likewise, "Say the Name" builds its hook around a line from "Mind's Playing Tricks On Me":
      Candlesticks in the dark, visions of bodies being burned.
  • all lowercase letters: How their name is typically stylized (with a mandatory period at the end) alongside midcity and its track titles.
  • And I Must Scream: "Pain Everyday" doesn't exactly paint afterlife in a positive light, as the ghosts of those who died violent deaths continue feeling the pain they felt in the last moments of their lives.
  • Anti-Police Song: Even for a rap group, this makes up a surprisingly large amount of their oeuvre. "Chapter 319" is a stand-out example; not only was it written in the wake of the George Floyd protests, but it also samples George Floyd's voice, from his work with DJ Screw.
  • Avant-Garde Music: Experimental industrial/noise hip-hop doesn't exactly have a lot of mainstream appeal, though Daveed Diggs' success with Hamilton has done a fair bit to increase their profile.
  • Audience Participation Song: There's a few of them. Popular choices include "Shooter" and "A Better Place."
  • Bittersweet Ending: Splendor and Misery ends with the protagonist, a runaway slave known as "Cargo #2331", despite being driven to near-insanity by his isolation and long journey, continuing to explore the stars by inputting random coordinates for the ship AI, hoping to find a better place or a better way from the systematic racism and oppression of the universe at large.
  • Boastful Rap: midcity was both a straight play of typically boastful verses - bragging about power, drugs, and women - while also taking it straight into Indecisive Parody by both playing the usual rap clichés of such straight, mocking them, and upping the violence found in such rap. Starting with CLPPNG, Diggs pretty much never raps about himself, instead preferring to tell stories in his lyrics.
  • Book Ends: The first rap of all their projects is a very quick, beatless rap followed by (or intercut with) a sudden loud noise; more often than not, one which features their catchphrase. Their full-lengths often end with a modern classical piece, or an explicit homage to one.
    • "Story" and "Story 7" involve a hideous death in a taxi - what's more, the deaths involve a sister and brother, respectively.
  • Broken Record: midcity's outro is an 11-minute Steve Reich-esque track of Daveed repeating the words "Get money" until the words become jumbled and distorted. In the way that people interpret it, since the words have so much ubiquity in hip-hop, repeating them into mush strips them of meaning.
  • Call-Back:
    • "Story 2" has the same opening word as "Story": "Godsmack".
    • The "all black everything" hook of "All Black" seemingly refers back to the "all green/gray/purple everything" hook of "bout.that".
    • La Chat's "you ain't scared, is ya?" hook in "Run For Your Life" refers back to her own 2001 song "You Ain't Mad Iz Ya".
  • Careful with That Axe: The album version of "Club Down" features constant, bloodcurdling screams from none other than 16-Bitch Pile-Up's own Sarah Bernat.
  • Catchphrase: "It's clipping., bitch." It usually appears in the intro of each of their projects, and is also the name of their official website.
  • Concept Album:
    • Splendor & Misery tells the story of a man known only as "Cargo #2331", a runaway slave lost in space fleeing from his captors in an empty cargo vessel with only the ship’s AI to keep him company.
    • Wriggle is a far looser instance of this trope, but all of the songs are in some way about sex.
    • There Existed an Addiction to Blood is an homage to classic horror films, and in keeping with that, it has a sequel in Visions of Bodies Being Burned.
    • Double Live is a live album in which the audio was captured from (almost) everything but the stage and the board, ranging from the backroom monitors, to contact mics hidden in the drains and stuck to their tourmates' percussion, to their sound guy bodysurfing with a lapel mic, and more.
  • Cosmic Horror: "Enlacing" frames a very bad drug trip this way, swerving into nihilistic ramblings of the meaninglessness of humanity's values and monsters taking different avatars, as typical of Lovecraftian Gods. It even namedrops Azathoth's epithet.
  • Curse Cut Short: For the intros of both Wriggle and Visions of Bodies Being Burned, as Daveed is about to say the "bitch" of the Catchphrase, a blast of noise cuts him off.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Nearly all the "Story" songs.
      • "Story 1" - A rookie cop, Randy, is first on the scene to a horrific car crash involving a taxi; the trauma warps him into a violent cop disgusted at the 'animals' he's forced to protect when he's not getting smashed at a bar. When the bar informs him his tab is cut off, he goes into shock and remembers the crash and the argument that lead to his sister taking the suggestion to get a taxi.
      • "Story 2" - Mike Winfield, a recovering pyromaniac who may have been a mob hitman, is walking home from his shitty job when he realizes one of his victims has torched his house in kind. He sprints home as fast as he can, knowing his kids and their babysitter are still inside, but by the time he gets there, a crowd can only watch as the fire spreads to obviously unsurvivable levels. He attempts to commit suicide by walking into the house, is stopped by a member of the crowd, and collapses in despair.
      • "Story 4" - A remorseful domestic abuser accepts the fact that he cannot cope with the weight of his sins and he'll never stop being an abuser, gets drunk, and drowns himself.
      • "Story 5" - Somewhere in the past, a beautiful, kind, and loving veteran of a war that took her best friend from her, becomes a whistleblower against an unspecified corporation, who promptly kills her in a car crash. Worse, it's heavily implied (and outright stated in code) that this is the cop's sister from "Story 1".
      • "Story 7" may or may not be bittersweet, depending on your point of view. Cynthia (who is implied to be the POV character of "Body and Blood"), a serial-killing werewolf, has brutally killed an unfaithful husband and has traumatized his wife, and has her sights set on Randy - now a struggling-to-keep-it-together private detective who was thrown off the force, in the throes of his severe alcoholism. Mid-bite, though, the driver of the taxi they're in puts a silver bullet in Cynthia (and possibly Randy), who dies as painfully as all the men she'd devoured.
    • "Work Work": No matter what you do and how much money you moved and the dope you slung, you take a well-deserved bullet and your name fades into obscurity, while the real rappers and drug dealers ride it straight to the top.
    • Speaking of riding it straight to the top, "Taking Off" describes how desperate criminals are to reach it all, and either die trying, or burn themselves out in a frenzy of brilliance while trying to proclaim to the world they "made it" before they reach inglorious ends.
    • "Deep" describes the Drexciyans, while realizing in horror that the surface-dwellers are their kin, wiping out the human surface for their invasion and pollution of the ocean.
  • Driven to Suicide: The protagonist of "Story 4" is a regret-filled Domestic Abuser drunkenly committing suicide by drowning after realizing what he's done, and knowing he'll never stop being an abuser.
  • Drone of Dread: "Summertime" is punctuated throughout by the persistent whine of a test oscillator—it really goes into this territory during the hooks, where it's multitracked into something not quite resembling a chord.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Most of the tracks on their first full project midcity use more of a first-person narrative compared with their work from CLPPNG onward.
  • Epic Rocking: Their all-time longest output is a 24-hour remix of their song "Dream", split into 24 tracks that are an hour long each.
    • "Piano Burning" is exactly 18 minutes long, and the midcity outro nears 11 minutes in length.
    • For normal songs, 5-6 minutes is considered long ("Dream", "Dominoes", "Ends", "All Black").
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Even considering they're a noise group, they stand out for this. In some tracks ("Shooter," "Get Up," "All In Your Head") the foreign object in question takes on a more conventional instrument's role.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
    • Overlapping with Meaningful Name and Pun-Based Title. On their album CLPPNG the group chose to forgo the use of the first person. Get it? It's "CLIPPING", but without "I", reflecting the lack of a first-person narrative in Daveed's verses.
    • Also, the last track of There Existed An Addiction to Blood is an eighteen-minute rendition of composer Annea Lockwood's piece "Piano Burning", which literally consists of the sound of a piano being consumed by flames for eighteen minutes straight.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Daveed eats an AK-47 on the video to "Blood of the Fang".
  • The Faceless: In the music video for "Story 2", Mike Winfield, the song's protagonist, is portrayed as such; we only see up to his shoulders.
  • Fading into the Next Song:
    • On CLPPNG, the whining drone at the end of "Summertime" is also heard, in a lower register, at the start of the following song, "Taking Off".
    • Present frequently throughout Splendor & Misery; it's an almostnote  entirely gapless album.
  • Free-Handed Performer: Reflecting the lineup of the band, Daveed only raps while William and Jonathan handle the music when they play on stage.
  • Genre-Busting: A unique blend of Hip-Hop and Harsh Noise that has gotten the band compared to the likes of other experimental rap acts like Death Grips and Dälek.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation:
    • A lighter example than most, but one of the themes and subjects of Splendor and Misery is how alone the protagonist is, unable to do much beyond recite old rap songs, evade his pursuers, and watch the universe pass him by. "Break the Glass" directly deals with this as his AI companion finally snaps at him to do something.
    • There's a variant in "Enlacing" - despite being surrounded by people in a crowded nightclub, the protagonist of "Enlacing" feels incredibly isolated during their bad trip, feeling as if they only understand how completely meaningless life is.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: "Enlacing" posits this as the result of a really bad drug trip.
  • Harsh Noise: A major basis for the band's sound.
  • Hashtag Rap:
  • Haunted Technology: From "Pain Everyday":
    See that?
    To the edge of the screen in the video?
    Hear that?
    Hissing way in the back of the track?
    Be that.
    You can live in the glitch of the digital.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The band's beats tend towards this on occasion; special mention goes to "Back Up" (just what is that constant thwacking?), "Baby Don't Sleep" (which goes directly into power electronics territory), and "La Mala Ordina" (where the noise in question completely overtakes the track midway through the last verse).
  • Hillbilly Horrors: Discussed on "Eaten Alive," which juxtaposes these with the images of thug-life regalia.
  • Horrorcore: They have often verged on this, but There Existed an Addiction to Blood and Visions of Bodies Being Burned are full jumps into the genre.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Wriggle, full stop.
  • I'm a Humanitarian:
    • "Body and Blood" describes a female serial killer who feasts on her pick-ups.
    • Cynthia, the werewolf protagonist of "Story 7", kills and eats a cheating husband, and plans to do the same to Randy before she's shot dead by a taxi driver.
  • Implied Death Threat: On "La Mala Ordina," a pusherman describes a drug den littered with mutilated bodies and hacked-up remains, and on the next line says:
    Anybody out there ain't on drugs yet, they should prolly start.
  • Indecisive Parody: The group both plays typical rap tropes straight and subverts them — either by knowingly mocking clichés, or upping them to eleven by violently describing the gun battles, stick-ups, drug-deals, and the hard-and-fast life of people in the ghetto. Daveed clarified that, while playing with rap cliches and tropes, midcity was not a mockery of the genre, but CLPPNG wound up moving away from some cliches (such as Boastful Rap).
  • Industrial: Along with Kanye West circa Yeezus, Death Grips, Dälek, and JPEGMafia, they are the most prominent names to combine this with hip-hop.
  • Interface Screw: On CD versions of CLPPNG, "Ends" concludes with the whole track skipping, right after Daveed's last verse. What's more, there's three identical versions, on each of which the track skips differently, and a fourth alternate ending on the Japanese edition. Vinyl versions feature a bonus track with a runout groove as its sole backbeat — the vocal track eventually fades, leaving the groove to play indefinitely.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: All of Wriggle, as well as "Body and Blood" and "Story 7".
  • Laser-Guided Karma: "Story 2" revolves around protagonist Mike Winfield, who is implied to be a mob arsonist, and by the end of the song all of his children and their babysitter die in a house fire identical to the ones that he would start.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Doubles as foreshadowing in a sense. In Daveed's opening verse in "La Mala Ordina", he mocks gangsta rappers who compare their lifestyle to movies and says, "The script was shit, your third act really drags, the structure falls apart." In his final verse, where he describes various torture methods, the song devolves into a wall of noise. The point at which he becomes completely unintelligible beneath the noise is almost exactly two thirds of the way through the song — so the song itself has a third act where the structure falls apart.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "All Black".
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Invoked in "Nothing is Safe". The last survivor of the raid on the drug den sees some kind of light behind the figure about to execute them after crashing their car. The song calls it a halo, but notes it might be the sun - either an actual halo as the sun rises on a angel smiting a sinner, or just the sun coming up on a very bad day for a very bad man.
  • Misogyny Song: Played with on "Hot Fuck No Love". Daveed's verses exaggerate misogynistic raps almost to the point of parody, graphically depicting degrading and emotionally vacant sex. Cakes Da Killa's verse, on the other hand, has a more empowering and sex-positive tone, and depicts sex between gay men rather than between men and women.
  • Motor Mouth: Thanks to Hamilton, Diggs holds the record for the fastest rapping in a musical. It’s a reputation that’s well earned, as he's been known to rap even faster on clipping.’s songs. "Blood of the Fang" is the fastest he has rapped so far.
  • Mundane Horror: Mixing with Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane, some of the horrorcore songs in There Existed an Addiction to Blood and Visions of Bodies Being Burned are actually fairly mundane, being real-life worries of crime and philosophical nihilism:
  • Murder Ballad: Given their gangster rap aesthetic and brutal depictions of crime, it's a given:
    • “Story 2” is about an ex-mob enforcer and recovering pyromaniac walking home from work one night, only to find his house alight... with his children and their babysitter still inside.
    • "Shooter" narrates a stick-up man making a threat, a spree-shooter, and a Middle Eastern soldier getting ambushed.
    • "Work Work" is one disguised as a typical gangster rap song — by the final verses, "you" get gunned down by cops and your fantasies of being slick or escaping them are just Dying Dreams.
    • "Body for the Pile" depicts three dead policemen: a cop beaten to death on the scene, an officer shot to death in his office, and a patrolman running his police car off the road, over a biker, and into a fire hydrant.
    • "Body and Blood" tells the story of a Literal Maneater who lures men in with sex to kill and eat them, although it seems to cheer her on rather than demonize her.
    • "Deep" is a rallying war song beckoning the Drexciyans to rise up and crush the human invaders completely for what they have done.
  • "The Show" is about this.
  • New Sound Album:
    • CLPPNG is all around a more palatable yet experimental product than midcity, losing some of its harshness while working with various new styles including party-ready tracks, tracks that can be classified as "ambient rap" or even "math rap", and a track built around an alarm clock.
    • Wriggle leans further into club energy, introducing influences from hyphy, acid techno and footwork (even sliding in a jungle break), as well as outré elements such as those of power electronics.
    • Splendor & Misery's conceptual overtones make for a sense of scale and atmosphere reflected by the album's forays into dark ambience and futuristic sound design, with an additional emphasis on gospel and spirituals.
    • TEAATB and VOBBB are a joint venture into the group's personalized "transmutation" of horrorcore, making for what may easily be their darkest outputs yet. Their use of ambience is now at a forefront, boosted by the occasional use of field recordings and tracks designed to sound like old recordings or samples from '70s/80s B-horror films, the aesthetics of which are often framed in the albums' lyrics as metaphors for the everyday and existential nightmares of modern life.
  • No Ending: "A Better Place", the final track of Splendor & Misery, ends with a blast of continuous noise that stops abruptly, reflecting the fact the protagonist continues their quest, despite all that has happened, to find "a better place" away from the slaver dystopia of the known universe by warping to unknown destinations with random coordinates.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • As Daveed explains the "rock, paper, paper cut" threat on "La Mala Ordina" (somehow worse than being bound, tortured and left for dead, or shot and dumped in the street), The Rita slowly distorts the whole track to unintelligibility and buries the entire song under a massive wall of noise, leaving the threat unknown.
    • In the "Haunting" interlude of TEAATB, a woman is describing a haunting she had experienced. In the middle of her description, the tape she's recorded on is spontaneously fast-forwarded to the end, where we hear her talking about Satan trying to kill her. This is made even worse since it happens in the middle of a sentence, leaving the details of her story unclear.
    • VOBBB gets up to this as well:
      • "Drove" is an ominous audio recording of farm animals being driven... somewhere, and likely for the slaughter. But it's just that: a lo-fi recording of farm animals bleating in the near distance on a truck; no Jump Scare or blast of noise.
      • "Secret Piece" is presented largely without context; the band's arrangement is reminiscent of the quieter scenes in B-horror films, building up to a greater scare that... doesn't happen.
  • Number of the Beast: The "Invocation" interlude of VOBBB consists of a tone being played, specifically an E5 that is 17.6 cents sharp — exactly 666.0 Hz in pitch, tying in perfectly to the track being a form of invocation itself (in the context of demonic summoning).
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: Explored within the Wriggle EP. Its artwork shows a figure in a latex fetish suit, and the EP's title track shows the constant hustle of lower-class strippers and their customers as a twisted, sadomasochistic game.
  • Once an Episode: The group's works often begin with intros simply titled "Intro" and consisting of short, a cappella, mile-a-minute raps that end with their catchphrase followed by a blast of noise. They have experimented with this concept since introducing it, but the general elements have been consistent.
    • midcity's intro (the title formatted in lowercase to match the naming theme) begins with the catchphrase and blast, but formats Daveed's rapping in verses that are broken up by similar blasts of noise.
    • CLPPNG's intro contains Daveed rapping over a protracted din, ending with the catchphrase and blast.
    • Wriggle's intro contains Daveed rapping over the ambience of nighttime street sounds and ends much the same, except the blast cuts off the catchphrase.
    • Splendor & Misery is the closest the group has gotten to deviating from the formula. Its intro is actually a spiritual that opens the album's narrative, with the word "Intro" turned into an Either/Or Title for the track. The short rap is instead saved for its second track "The Breach", which skips the catchphrase entirely to go straight into a loud collage of electronic noises and sound effects.
    • There Existed An Addiction to Blood's intro features Daveed rapping from a small speaker amid dark ambience, with his rap being cut off just as he finishes his final line, thereby skipping the catchphrase and blast. The intro instead ends with the ambience rapidly morphing into a scream before suddenly stopping.
    • Visions of Bodies Being Burned models its intro after Addiction's with some changes, and it's implied to be a direct continuation of Addiction's intro. It opens with similar dark ambience, but adds a booming 808 kick in the background that repeats for around one and a half minutes, after which the ambience morphs into the scream from Addiction and Daveed's rap starts, played from a small speaker again. For the first time, his rap is set to something of a steady beat through the 808 kick, which grows clearer and heavier over the course of the track. The rap ends with the return of the catchphrase, as well as another instance of it being cut off as the kick finally explodes into the blast.
  • The Oner: The video for "Work Work" is edited to look like a single take.
  • One-Word Title: midcity, CLPPNG, and Wriggle.
  • Parting-Words Regret: The last few lines of "Story".
  • Phrase Salad Lyrics: On their own, the songs from Splendor & Misery seem abstract at best. Knowing that it’s a sci-fi concept album does help.
  • Pretender Diss: "La Mala Ordina" is an absolutely brutal take on the trope, juxtaposing the lavish dream lifestyle of gangsta/thug rappers with the grim reality of life as an actual thug. In particular, Daveed compares the former to small children, and Benny the Butcher suggests they're no better than snitches for openly displaying gangland hallmarks without actually getting involved.
  • Religion Rant Song:
    • "God Given Tongue", which likens faith to literal smoke and mirrors, intercut with a monologue about a man being recruited into a Christian cult.
    • "Make Them Dead" is about driving hardcore Christian fundamentalists to their deaths.
  • Retraux: The "Wytchboard" interlude of VOBBB is designed to resemble a scene from an old B-horror film, with two girls spelling out "He is here" on a ouija board, directly leading into the door-banging that opens the next track, "'96 Neve Campbell".
  • Rhyming with Itself:
    • In "", Daveed rhymes "punchline" with itself as the cap on a tongue-in-cheek use of Hashtag Rap.
    • The chorus of “Summertime” rhymes "in the summertime" with itself 4 times.
  • Sampling: They're known first and foremost for sampling power electronics musicians Deathpile and Whitehouse on "Body & Blood" and "Wriggle", respectively.
    • "Something They Don't Know" features twenty-four samples, spanning damn near every genre of music. There's an ongoing sweepstakes to try and point them all out.
    • "Enlacing" samples a song of the same name by electronic artist Infinite Body.
  • Self-Titled Album: CLPPNG, sort of; the lack of the letter "I" in the band name refers to the lack of first-person narratives in the album's songs.
  • Sensory Abuse: Being a noise rap band, it's inevitable that they would use this. Their first concerts used to be deliberately disorienting — strobe lights in everyone's faces, speakers blasting at uncomfortable levels, microphones run into broken glass...
  • Serendipitous Symphony: Invoked as part of the in-universe lore of Splendor & Misery—the beats for most of the tracks are supposed to be the sounds of the spaceship's own machinery and monitors.
  • Serial Escalation: The final verse of "La Mala Ordina" describes a series of escalating gang-vs-rapper conflicts, beginning with an icepick assault from a gloating small-time operator and ending with what is implied to be a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Sequel Song: After the song "Story", clipping. have also released "Story 2", "Story 4", Story 5", and "Story 7."
    • P.O.V. Sequel: "Story 5" follows Randy's sister, one of the victims of the car crash, before and leading up into the car crash.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: On VOBBB, the "Wytchboard" interlude segues perfectly into "'96 Neve Campbell", acting as its intro and setting up its concept.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Splendor & Misery" is named after Samuel R. Delany's unfinished sequel to his sci-fi epic Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand. Being a sci-fi work heavily influenced by others, it also namedrops:
    • "Dream" mentions "that double rainbow meme" at one point, and its hook alludes to the opening lines of The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy".
    • The video for the CLPPNG intro seems to be a nod towards the iconic cover art of Swans' Filth.
    • The final verse of "Work Work" contains the line "Let the cop pull you over, say something slick/ On some Jay-Z, '99 Problems'-type shit".
    • The entirety of The Deep is a homage and continuation of Drexciya, an afrofuturist techno band with an Ocean Punk mythology about the Drexciyans, descendants of slaves thrown overboard during the Slave Trades, destroying the human race. The single itself uses the same synths and rhythms of Drexciya, with bits of clipping.'s usual noise thrown in.
    • There Existed An Addiction to Blood is a line from the theme from Ganja and Hess, which is sampled in "Blood of the Fang".
      • "La Mala Ordina" was the original Italian title of The Italian Connection.
    • A track on Visions of Bodies Being Burned is titled "'96 Neve Campbell".
  • Sound-Effect Bleep:
    • Experimented with in "overpass", one of the midcity skits, where a bleep that continually censors Daveed ends up holding, warbling and distorting into a harmony over time.
    • "Body for the Pile" features the line "Officer *bleep* with his brains blown out," in homage to Kendrick Lamar's "m.A.A.d. City" which features a similar line, and bleeps out the name of Kendrick's friend in another.
  • Spoken Word in Music:
    • The old man in "Inside Out" (credited in the CLPPNG acapella tracks as "Frank") who stops the whole song to say "Man, when I was 22, I woulda coulda used to be the shit."
    • Bryan Lewis-Saunders', Maxi Wild's, and Robyn Hood's parts in "God Given Tongue," "Hot Fuck No Love," and "All In Your Head," respectively.
  • Stop and Go: Of the "saying stop as the music stops" variety, on "Work Work".
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Their debut album is called CLPPNG, subtracting the "I" from the group name in reference to the lack of first-person narratives.
    • Benny the Butcher's verse in "La Mala Ordina" references Kawhi Leonard, a basketball legend then signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • The "Wriggle" video is a collage of GIFs, with some being visibly compressed and poor-quality or even carrying website watermarks.
    • Overlaps a bit with Self-Deprecation on Double Live, packaged (down to the records themselves) to resemble releases found in the discount section of Amoeba Music's experimental aisle.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song:
    • On CLPPNG, "Summertime" and "Dream". The former is a rather straightforward-sounding hip-hop song sans the trademark aggression of the album's sound, and the latter is a lush, quiet, and introspective song - even the lyrics acknowledge this, being a dream about getting away from the city.
    • "Enlacing" subverts this. By Hutson and Snipes' admission, it is by design one of the most straightforward beats they've made. It's also one of their most lyrically heavy songs, and bear in mind who we're talking about here.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: invoked The intent of the midcity outro, styled after a Steve Reich piece; at the time, they did not want to pay for the rights to an actual work of his.
  • Surreal Music Video: Rather par for the course.
    • "Work Work" features Daveed rapping the song with his teeth on a curb, about to be curbstomped by Cocc Pistol Cree. When he does get it, his head collapses like china and a few rats scamper out.
    • "Inside Out" is a direct continuation of the above video, featuring a now-headless Daveed rapping the song while objects pertaining to the lyrics emerge from his head hole.
    • "Wriggle" is a collage of (at times visibly compressed) .gifs.
  • Take That!: The censored YouTube version of the very NSFW video for "Body & Blood" (which is accessible on Vimeo) replaces all shots containing nudity with blank slides that have the word "NUDITY" gratuitously blown up across the screen. Seeing as clipping. is under the famously anti-censorship Sub Pop label, it's fitting.
  • Textless Album Cover: midcity, There Existed an Addiction to Blood, Visions of Bodies Being Burned, and the dba118 & Face EPs.
  • Tick Tock Tune: The instrumental for “Get Up” is comprised of an alarm clock... and not much else.
  • Torture Porn: "The Show" is clipping.'s take on this; an extremely graphic lyrical depiction of a person's torture and eventual death being live-streamed over the Dark Web.
  • Trash-Can Band: Shades of this—household objects are a common basis for several of the group's better-known beats.
  • Uncommon Time: They try to have one of these in each album:
    • In the song "Story 2", every eight bars an extra beat is added to the time signature which starts at 3/4. Eventually the song makes it to 8/4, after which the pattern starts over in double time, ending at 7/4.
    • "Story 7" takes this even further: it begins in 15/16 time, then switches over to 21/16, then 4/4 and 21/16 simultaneously before seamlessly transitioning to common time. What's more, the beat emphasized changes every two bars.
    • "Pain Everyday" is in 7/8 time.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • Their debut release, the dba118 EP, was reissued in 2018 as Face with new remixes and an acapella of the Title Track.
    • The Wriggle EP was reissued in 2021 as Wriggle (Expanded), featuring new artwork, five new remixes, and most notably the replacement of Antwon's feature on "Back Up" with a new one from rapper Debby Friday following abuse allegations towards Antwon.
  • Vagina Dentata: Referenced briefly in "Hot Fuck No Love".
    Damn, oh, damage to the dental dam
    Dentata fine, he like a lot of bite when he grind
  • The Vamp:
    • “Body and Blood” is a song that glorifies an independent woman... who also happens to be a serial killer that engages in cannibalism and lures her victims at nightclubs.
    • Ironically, the vamp of "Story 7", a Serial Killer woman named Cynthia who lures one-night stands to a cannibalistic doom, is a werewolf.
  • Vengeful Ghost: "Pain Everyday".
  • Visual Pun: The vinyl of the reissue of the dba118 EP (called Face) includes the "c" of the clipping. logo on the disc, to which it was pointed out that when rotated 90 degrees, the "c" resembled a smiley face. According to the group's Instagram, this was a lucky coincidence and unintentional.
  • Wham Line: From "Story":
    And that's the last discussion she and Randy ever had.
  • Zeerust: Invoked on the instrumental version of "Long Way Away," a theremin-led piece produced to resemble a 78-rpm recording.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: "Something Underneath" is one part homage to N. K. Jemisin's Broken Earth Trilogy, and one part homage to zombie media, depicting the dead rising from the grave and enacting Gaia's Vengeance on mankind for their sins and wars.