Clipse Vinyl Bundle (3xLP Bundle)Clipse
The first act signed to The Neptunes newly formed Star Trak label was a Virginia based duo known as the Clipse. The first single Grindin impacted the streets with its bare boned but infectious drum beat in the same way that Sucker MCs did almost 20 years earlier. These brothers - Pusha T and Malice combined with The Neptunes groundbreaking production sent a clear message to the rap world – we are not the same (as rapped by Malice on his opening verse on Cot Dam). Clipse brings an authentic Virginia sound into the game and created a movement, with not only their darkly layered raps but The Neptunes as well. Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo were able to combine their cyberpunk production with just the right group to create a street masterpiece. Following in the footsteps of such rap criminologists as Kool G Rap, Nas, Jay-Z, and Mobb Deep, the Clipse offer the Virginia hustlers viewpoint with clever, hard-hitting lyrics that is sprinkled throughout the entire album.
With so many standout tracks on Lord Willin the album starts pulling no punches. On Track 1 simply (or maybe not) titled Intro you get a very personal and deep testament of crack and the drug game, a theme that is throughout this album…HEAVY. Songs like Virginia or Im Not You (featuring Jadakiss, Styles P and Roscoe P Coldchain), have lyrics that play as a musical notes alongside The Neptunes tailored beats. Young Boy, Comedy Central… all fit perfectly alongside When the Last Time and Cot Dam as each song plays its part as chapters to the Lord Wilin masterpiece. Gangsta Lean (another one of the albums standout tracks) features a slightly lighter feel while paired with Pharrells trademark falsetto hook. The truth of it is, its hard to just pick one track, or point out which is the albums star. Each song on Lord Willin is essential to making it the classic that it is. The Neptunes (who were busy turning out every other Pop hit on the radio) crafted an album that was deemed an instant classic, and cemented Clipse as Raps newest superstars.
'TIL THE CASKET DROPS
Til The Casket Drops was a departure from the duo of Malice & Pusha Ts previous works in that it was their first LP not completely produced by The Neptunes. However, the celebrated team who brought us Grinding & Mr. Me Too still helmed 8 of the albums 13 tracks, thus dominating the soundscapes and aesthetic of the album anyway. With the remaining beats handled by Hitmen Sean C & LV (Jay-Z, Big Pun, Ghostface) and Aftermaths DJ Khalil (Kendrick Lamar, Aloe Blacc, Eminem) clearly Clipse stock hadnt lowered in the game. While boasting notable vocal features from Kanye West, Pharrell, Camron, Keri Hilson, Yo Gotti & their Re-Up Gang affiliate Ab-Liva, Casket Drops leaves ample space for the core emcee duo of Pusha & Malice to shine in the spotlight, with verses revolving around each other succinctly in-synch and bonded by an exceptional creative rhythm only biological brothers could share.
Clipse have always delighted in dualities, juxtapositions and contradictions, unabashedly celebrating the capitalistic lifestyle and the grind as the kings of coke-rap, while taking hard looks at societys mores and those of their own individual journeys. We hear Malices eventual transition to No Malice taking form on this album as he found religion, warning others who might follow in his path on Footsteps: dont let my wrongs give you the right of way/ to emulate my past escaping the laws grasp while refusing to be pinned down in one lane: it weights on my conscience and I hate conscious rap. Meanwhile Pusha T continues his lyrical ascent into the King Push persona with bars like pompous motherfucker, look what them jewels made me/ Im only finding comfort in knowing you cant replace me/ What a thing to say, but what am I to do/ Im role-playing a conscious nigga and true is true/ Cocaine aside, all of the bloggers behooved/ My critics finally have a verse of mine to jerk off to decisively on album opener Freedom.
Since it dropped, the Clipse have stated that Casket… is their final album together while subsequently alluding to the possibility of an eventual reunion. Only time will tell, but until then its time to re-celebrate one of hip hops most dynamic duos by hearing Til The Casket Drops in a whole new light with its long-overdue, first time on vinyl pressing via Get On Down featuring all 13 original tracks on wax and cover art by the legendary KAWS! Its kinda like a big deal…