IT’S A rap: clipping. frontman Daveed Diggs (far left) lets the music do the talking at Tel Aviv’s Gagarin Club..
(photo credit: BEN FISHER)
Gagarin, Tel Aviv, December 12
If you had seen clipping. frontman Daveed Diggs perform just a couple months ago, it would have been at New York City’s Richard Rogers Theaters and he would have been playing Thomas Jefferson.
Diggs’s Tony Award-winning portrayal of America’s founding father and third president (as well as French general Marquis de Lafayette in act one) in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s game-changing Broadway musical, Hamilton, helped to make him a sensation, scoring him a role in NBC prime-time comedy Black-ish and garnering sold out shows for his band in places as distant from his home as Tel Aviv.
Last Monday night at Gagarin Club in the White City’s Levontin district, Diggs, half Jewish and half African-American, brought his hip-hop outfit to Israel for the first time. With bandmates Jonathan Snipes and William Huston behind him, crouched over a table laden with turntables, wiring and other electronic music-making equipment, Diggs did what he does best. He rapped incredibly quickly. Switching rhythms and rhyme schemes at a breakneck pace, Diggs started the show with “Intro,” from clipping.’s 2016 EP, Wriggle
It’s hard to explain exactly how quickly he is able to spit his politically conscious lyrics, but a good place to get an idea is by listening to this song.
Even those who claim English as their mother tongue would be challenged to keep up with Diggs’s lyrics given his pace. But somehow, incredibly, the Israeli audience wasn’t just hanging on every word, they were rapping along with him, with successful call and response-style back and forths between Diggs and the crowd.
If you missed Monday’s show, given how warmly he was received by those who came out to a packed show on a weekday evening it would be a safe bet that you won’t have to wait too long until his next appearance in Tel Aviv.