released Dec 8th
from the album - Kinda Like A Big Deal
Hailing from Virginia, Clipse — brothers Pusha T and Malice — were one of the first artists to associate with the Neptunes. The Neptunes' Pharrell Williams first met the brothers in the early '90s, was very impressed by their talents, and decided to help them get a gig. After he hooked them up with the Elektra label, an early single flopped and the group seemed done, even though an album's worth of material had been recorded. Williams was not discouraged and continued to hype the group until Arista finally intervened in 2001. Williams and partner Chad Hugo stepped behind the boards and produced Lord Willin', Clipse's 2002 full-length debut, released through Star Trak/Arista. On the strength of "Grindin'," the album hit the Top Ten of the R&B/Hip-Hop and Billboard 200 charts and eventually went gold. The Sony-BMG merger threw the follow-up into limbo and sparked a long bout of legal snags between Clipse and their new parent label, Jive. While the delay was going on, Clipse issued a series of mixtapes and set up their Re-Up label. The label disputes were eventually cleared up, and Hell Hath No Fury — a lean, mean album, featuring the Neptunes and the MC'ing duo at the top of their game — was finally released on November 28, 2006. Almost unanimously hailed by critics, it also reached number 14 on the Billboard 200. Clipse later signed with Columbia for Til the Casket Drops, released in December 2009. The album's list of collaborators included the Neptunes, DJ Khalil, Kanye West, and Keri Hilson.
album review from snobs music
Anyone who's been reading this blog for a while knows that hip hop isn't really our bag. But there are a few artists in the genre that we do get excited for. The new album, the third, from Clipse is one of those. The record, Til the Casket Drops, err...drops on December 8th.
What is most appealing about Clipse is the duo's rough edged approach to hip hop. The in-the-moment feel of the records provides a refreshing jolt in a genre that is saturated with over-produced and over-Autotuned. The mere absence of cliched samples makes Clipse a more worthwhile listen.
Til the Casket Drops is a little less in-your-face than the group's previous efforts. Yes, the themes of street life are still prominent, however, with a few notable exceptions like "Door Man", the raps are delivered with slightly less aggression than we've heard in the past. We are even treated to a fun-filled Sex Rehab-worthy track in "Counseling".
The Virginia Beach pair also succumb to the pressure to fill their album with guest appearances. Kanye West, Cam'ron, Pharrell, Nicole Hurst, Ab Liva, and Keri Hilson all lend their talents to the record with varying degrees of success. In fact, Hilson's soulful vocals on "All Eyes On Me" are the lone instance when a guest actually adds something that Clipse could not have done on their own.
The songs are actually best when Clipse are left to do it on their own. Unimpeded by having to fit in a guest rapper, tracks like "There Was a Murder" and the aforementioned "Door Man" blow your doors off.
Til the Casket Drops may not be the best work we've heard from Clipse, their worst is better than 98% of the hip hop you'll hear on the airwaves.
1 Freedom Coppin, Endle St. Cloud ... 3:46
2 Popular Demand (Popeyes) Thornton, Thornton, Williams 4:20
3 Kinda Like a Big Deal East, Injeti, Rahman, Thornton ... 3:26
4 Showing Out Mims, Thornton, Thornton ... 3:38
5 I'm Good Thornton, Thornton, Williams 4:21
6 There Was a Murder Honeycutt, Injeti, Rahman ... 3:36
7 Door Man Thornton, Thornton, Williams 5:08
8 Never Will It Stop East, Matthews, Thornton ... 3:21
9 All Eyes On Me Hilson, Thornton, Thornton ... 3:50
10 Counseling Bigazzi, Hurst, Piccolo ... 3:17
11 Champion Thornton, Thornton, Williams 4:14
12 Footsteps Chiles, Honeycutt, Rahman ... 4:21
13 Life Change Thornton, Thornton, Williams ... 4:27