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The Clipse: Lyrical Lazarus

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t’s been almost four years since a pair of Virginia-based brothers showed everyone what it meant to truly grind. While Malice and Pusha T say that the next Clipse album has no resemblance to Lord Willin’, that hustle will be tested once more. Originally from The Bronx, the Thorton brothers will return home to a New York stage to show this new side with their current single, “Mr. Me Too.” (Tickets can be purchased at the door or Ticketmaster)!

Finally situated on Jive Records, Malice discusses the album, and is later joined by Pusha. Both express dissatisfaction with the content in Hip-Hop today, and as Hell Hath No Fury looms on the horizon, perhaps The Clipse will balance the game with their lyrical triple-beam.

AllHipHop.com: What’s up Mal?

Malice: What’s up brother, how you doing? I’m making it man, I’m good.

AllHipHop.com: Where’s your brother at?

Malice: I haven’t seen him all morning. We’re here in Indianapolis. We just doing promo, the Russ Parr. We just out here doing shows, promoting the album, the single.

AllHipHop.com: Does this mean that label politics are solved for the time being?

Malice: Yeah, well, you know, we’re off to a great start with Jive. They haven’t denied us anything that we’ve asked for so far. We got our own label deal out of the situation, so we’re off and running. I can’t say how happy I am going to be until I see how the album moves, but as of right now, it’s working.

AllHipHop: What can we expect with the new album, Hell Hath No Fury? It will drop on Halloween, right?

Malice: There’s a whole bunch of aggression and frustration on this album; it’s extremely emotional. Just pouring out our hearts and soul on these verses because the politics was getting in the way of everything and if you’re not careful you can get caught up and not really be creative, which is what [“We Got It for Cheap” mixtapes] Volume 1 and Volume 2 was about.

AllHipHop.com: You guys are an example of a group that mixtapes basically helped save from going into obscurity.

Malice: Absolutely.

AllHipHop.com: It’s ironic you had a single out called “Grindin” out when you originally came out. You ever sit back and think about that?

Malice: In the beginning, the mixtapes really didn’t work for us. When we first started, we were trying to get on any mixtape, and for whatever reason, we were never able to get on that scene; maybe because we are from Virgnia, maybe [because] we got caught up in the whole rap race … so we did the OutKast route, we were from this area in Virginia and didn’t have to compete with anybody. So, then, after the hiatus and it was taking so long … We put out “Got It For Cheap Volume 1.” We put that out, than we put out Volume 2 soon after. We got a lot of acclaim from a lot of different magazines. It was real therapeutic for us.

AllHipHop.com: How did you all push the tapes?

Malice: We did it all ourselves. We put it out ourselves, distributed it ourselves. We didn’t make any money off of it. It was a sense of urgency, a sense of “we better do something,” because, like you said, we were falling into obscurity. So we had to like, make something work, we had to produce something. It was good, because we were frustrated, so on the mixtape we were on the playground – just making the music we wanted to make, music that we like. [We thought] just like “to hell with the labels,” that s**t will work itself out, or at least it will do what it does while we put out these mixtapes.

AllHipHop.com: Let’s talk about the new album, though. Is it a brand new album or the one recorded as a follow-up to Lord Willin’?

Malice: This is a fresh ass album. We couldn’t come no less. We were ready to get into the thick of things with the success of the first album … the songs we had done were really hot, but at that point in time we were in a different place, we were happier. Time passed, and we saw it was a big hold up, and the momentum, the people that waited for us, we took too long. We couldn’t dare come out in the same mind frame as we did in Lord Willin’ – so, now we mad, we angry, we pissed the f**k off.

AllHipHop.com: Who are the producers you’ve worked with on this project?

Malice: The production on the whole album was again done by the Neptunes. We felt like we owed it to the fans. We wanted to keep the same chemistry that we had when we first came out. There’s nothing I can’t stand more than when your favorite group comes out one time and then they rearrange the chemistry of what they had at first. I think we owed it to the fans to hear these verses to the superior beats by Chad and Pharrell.

AllHipHop.com: While you two were gone, the trap/dope music genre has exploded in the South. What are your thoughts on cats like Young Jeezy or Rick Ross blowin’ up?

Malice: My thoughts on it are ‘it’s all good.’ Brothas are getting a chance to get out here and talk about what they do, what they have done. I feel we have heavily influenced a lot of it when we came out. A lot of people really emulated our style and our content. When we came out, there was a lot of criticism about what we talk about and whatever, but we don’t just say “keys, bricks …” but we use real descriptions: from the upside to the downside, we tell the full spectrum. Some of these cats have been rapping for years and they are Platinum artists and now they got s**t in their trunk? I don’t buy all of it, but I think for the most part, it’s good. There ‘s a lot of literature in [our] verses, like we would never dummy down, we really sayin’ something and it does take a certain intellect to keep up with the verses that we write. That’s what separates us from the rest.

AllHipHop.com: Were you inspired by cats like Nas and others who did the same type of music you do?

Malice: The people that I like in the game or in Hip-Hop period were those that took Hip-Hop serious; and when I say serious, I mean they were clever with metaphors, they put thought into the rhymes. It was the skill, it wasn’t about who you shot, or how much drugs you sold, but it was about swagger and style and really handcrafting these verses. I like cats like Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, KRS-One, Large Professor. I like Jay-Z, Biggie of course … cats like that really inspired me. That’s the kind of Hip-Hop that I used to love to listen to, and that’s so hard to find now. And that’s what we do, we make the music that we enjoy. When we made “We Got It For Cheap,” I kept the disc in my car … it wasn’t because it was mine, when I listen to Pusha and Ab Liva and Sandman … it had nothing to do with this is my group or nothing like that … and it stayed in there I don’t know how long.

[Pusha T joins the interview]

AllHipHop.com: What up Pusha?

Malice: We in the same hotel, in different rooms. I don’t know what happened.

AllHipHop.com: Well, now that I got both of you here, I wanted to ask: what’s your attitude these days overall?

Pusha: My attitude is I really don’t like the industry. This s**t is boring, it’s not based on the actual talent of the artist anymore, and it’s just like, whatever, anybody can win. It just depends on the machine. I’m not into it.

AllHipHop.com: Speak on the new album. I heard it’s going to be aggressive. Who are you guys going at?

Pusha: I think that the whole album is aggressive in the sense of, like, letting the lion out the cage. We said everything that we wanted to say, and think about it … when rappers come out on they first album from the street, the next album is softer, because they made their money, and blahzay blahzay blah. These verses are just as hungry as the ones from the first album, or actually better, because we’re grown. It’s the same hunger, because a lot of other people have slacked off.

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