AllHipHop.com Features  

The Clipse & Re-Up Gang: Blowin’ Up The Spot

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Call them the Fantastic Four. Except, their superpowers were not the result of cosmic radiation but a byproduct of an appreciation for the fundamentals of Hip-Hop lyricism; wordplay and delivery. Composed of VA’s Malice and Pusha T of the Clipse and Philly brethren Ab-Liva (formerly of Major Figgas) and Sandman, this fearsome foursome call themselves the Re-Up Gang. Riding a Pyrex and powder laced pair of critically acclaimed albums (Lord Willin’ (2002), Hell Hath No Fury (2006)) and a rep bolstered by staggeringly potent volumes of their We Got It for Cheap mixtaptes—the latest being Vol 3: The Spirit of Competition—the Re-Up Gang is motivated by a love of creating dope rap music. No pun intended. Now rolling with Columbia Records in 50/50 joint venture for their Re-Up Gang Records, Pusha, Malice, Ab-Liva and Sandman spoke in depth about everything from the beef with that guy from New Orleans, to being independently major, to their exasperation with former home Jive, down to how they are their own greatest inspiration.AllHipHop.com: Alright, so Volume 3’s been out. How’s the feedback been?Malice: It’s real good, it’s been a long time coming. A lot of people have been waitin’ for Volume 3. A lot of success on Volume 2, Volume 1 also was hot and the feedback we get is everyone saying Volume 3 definitely lived up to, if not exceeded Volume 2, so we’re happy with that.AllHipHop.com: Obviously you were aware of the success of Volume 2, is that part of the reason why it took a little longer to drop Volume 3?Pusha-T: Yeah, we had all intentions, with all the albums that were dropping, to come out a little earlier because the whole theme and the whole premise behind Volume 3 was “the spirit of competition.” So we was goin’ to take all the albums that dropped — Jay, Kanye — everybody who was supposed to drop but didn’t drop – take all their beats and black out on them. That was what it was supposed to be, but a lot of albums came out and the beats weren’t there. So we were like, “Damn, what are we goin’ do?” So then we had to go back to diggin’ in the crates and finding the “Scenario 2000″ record and going back to “Rainy Dayz.” We were doing this s**t off of inspiration; like the records that inspired us and so on and so forth. Hopefully hoping we were going to get inspiration from the joints that did drop, but didn’t.AllHipHop.com: So did y’all sit around  and think like, “I like this beat” or… “Scenario 2000″…Sandman: Everybody in the studio, you know what I mean? Somebody Gmail open and somebody done sent us a bunch of beats, Liva on that datpiff.com, rappin’ that kind of stuff up. What was heat we used, you know what I’m saying? Sometimes when a CD’s done we remember beats like, Damn we should have used that! But for the most part we took what we had and the nostalgia, like T said, that was just about how we felt.AllHipHop.com: On this current “album” it seemed like y’all focused on the entire line up being represent, except for the solo tracks of course.Sandman: The difference is on Volume 1 Malice had laid back a little bit. Me, Pusha and Liva was always on everything though, like we’ve never not been on the same song. And all the CDs are that way too — outside, our solo songs — so Mal came on Volume 2 crazy, we got classics and we did the same thing.Malice: Let me explain that though. I can explain why I wasn’t on Volume 1. Because I wasn’t trying to hear mixtape nothing. I had just come off a high horse, album out ,you know what I’m sayin’? I didn’t even understand, “What you talkin’ about a mixtape?!” Get that album out and let’s rock like we been doing. So it took me a minute to digest the fact that we were pigeonheld [sic] for a minute and just to keep the buzz and keep everything rolling and to stay relevant I had to get on a mixtape. AllHipHop.com: So now y’all got the Re-Up Gang album coming next spring, how’s that looking?Pusha-T:  Yeah, umm. Re-Up Gang album is great. I think we got a good deal of the body of the album done. You know it’s just us blacking out over records. We sit as a collective, pick beats and this is sort of new for us [at least for] the Clipse because we never went through the process of: throw a beat over there and then we go pick it up. You know, really having to pick from anywhere, out of any batch. Sitting at home with like 20 CDs, CD got 30 tracks on it and there’s one hot one and that’s number 19.Ab-Liva: Gmail got a hundred beats in it. [laughing]Pusha-T: Yeah, that s**t gets tedious to me. I can say for us…Malice: Yeah, we’ve been spoiled.Pusha-T: We’ve never seen nothing like that.Sandman: On the flipside we never had, I never had the luxury…Ab-Liva: Just having beats brought to you it’s crazy, with hooks and all that. We come from the era…me and Sand, we come from the era of just getting with a bunch of producers and trying to see who had what and where and turning it into something. So when we started this album we had that mind state to get with all these producers and hear what they got. They might only got one joint, but if it’s that one joint that we’re going to turn into something so we brought all our beats, sat down, went through ‘em, picked the joints that we liked and started building  from there. It definitely started coming together crazy so we just kept that formula and just rolled with it.AllHipHop.com: Who are some of the producers that made the cut?Sandman: We got this guy named THX. He do his thang.Ab-Liva: Yeah he’s dope. Dame Grease, L.E.S., Blade, Carvin and Ivan out of Philly.AllHipHop.com: When is the next proper Clipse album coming?Malice: The Clipse album we think is going to come in the fall. Re-Up [Clipse Presents the Re-Up Gang: The Album] album going to be in June.AllHipHop.com: What made y’all decide to roll with Sony/Columbia after leaving Jive?

Pusha-T: They showed a genuine interest man. And more so than anything it was about having an outlet for the Clipse as well as Sand and Liva to be able to come out as well — all at once. You know we’ve been through this whole business side of this s**t. We have been through the ups, the downs we done seen it all and they’ve been riding with us for a very long time so it was just sort of like, “Man we’re going to do this s**t our way.” I want the world to digest the crew. I want them to digest the whole…Sandman: Re-Up Gang conglomerate!Pusha: Yeah, the whole style of music we like. I want them to hear what we accustomed to. Everything that ever came out with the Clipse was few and far between. This way it’s like, if you don’t hear the Clipse, you hear something we co-signed, championed to the upmost. You hear Liva, you hear Sand, you can hear Clipse, you’re going to hear it as a foursome. At the end of the day it’s just a whole bunch of music that’s OUR s**t, this is OUR style. This is what we do. Strength in numbers man. Sandman: And control the whole nine. It’s just it’s thorough to be in a situation where everybody understand what’s going on and it’s the same mission all way around the table, to put out the dope records, to sell the most records, to be number one and just keep raising the bar for dopeness. And it’s got to be dope to have your C.E.Os as your n****s, you know what I’m sayin’? Let’s talk about the business and make sure it’s right. It’s a lot of comfortability [sic] going into this thing as far as I’m concerned. I done dealt with Interscope and I couldn’t call Jimmy Iovine or Steve Stoute when s**t got crazy, it’s real talk. These n****s man, I call whenever I feel like. I got a bed in Pusha crib, that kind of s**t, so it’s great. We’re goin’ to get this money.AllHipHop.com: Did y’all ever consider going the indie route?Malice: We entertained that and we feel like with the situation we have now is kind of like the best of both worlds. We’ve been through a lot and it’s like now we get to put our music out, we get to put an abundance of music out. It’s not like you hear a little bit, gotta wait years for the next [album] to come out. And to have a 50/50 deal is very much along the lines of straight indie so we feel we the best of both worlds with this one.Sandman: Indie with like super muscle. Re-Up Gang Records is definitely independent but Columbia is a super machine you understand? So if you tie brains from the independent side and brains from the machine side, we should have some significant numbers at the end of the day. Malice: Even if not, we got great music so that’s always been the focus with  us: great music first. If you ain’t got that then… Pusha-T: You got to have a fan base like people that’s really gonna come out there and see you. See you. Love you. Understand you. Come out there in numbers.Sandman: Rain, sleet or snow supporting us…Ab-Liva: The support is definitely there so we just want to keep bringing dope music to the table and just up the bar every time. Show the fans utmost entertaining and they love it and come out and show it.  Show their support. It’s a pretty thing. Malice: That’s where we get our excitement from in the game. It’s never been about the industry, it’s about the love for the music. And our fans they tried to keep up with us especially as best they could without having video and radio. So it’s really personal when we go and do these shows and they know every word. ‘Cause it ain’t from the TV that they know it, it’s straight love. So we gotta give back and that’s why are shows be so energetic. We just have a really good time. We live for that. AllHipHop.com: When y’all look out into the crowd who are your fans?Malice: College kids, hipsters…. Ab-Liva: It depends on where you at. Depends on where you’re performing at, we done been to the mountains and seen, where was we at? Malice: Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Ab-Liva: Jackson Hole, Wyoming ‘cuz. Nothing but ski slopes and deer, that kind of s**t. When it was time to perform that thing was poppin’. I mean this was an all white crowd who looked like they definitely didn’t rock to what I felt I wrote, but the fans range crazy. I can’t put a particular face or region on a fan. Wherever we go, it’s love. If we’re in the hood, you’ll see hood. When it’s mountains, it’s mountains.Sandman: You’ll see a thug next to an Internet junkie. It runs the gamut, our fans. We appreciate that because we know they listening to our music and loving it overall.AllHipHop.com: Seems like groups always have turmoil, just sittin’ here looking at y’all there is no hint of that.Malice: Harmonious!

I don’t want their goddamn awards. -Pusha T

AllHipHop.com: Right, right, so what do y’all attribute that to?Malice: I attribute it to just a mutual respect. Everybody is their own boss. Everybody is their own man. These dudes been rhymin’ forever, they come light the fire to us sometime because they definitely in the trenches and rhymin even’ when….you know I’ll do a mixtape or I’ll do an album but these guys like, rhyme. That’s what they do and it puts that fire back in you because I was definitely getting very uninterested in what was going on in Hip-Hop and being around the family, the Re-Up Gang, it takes you back to ’88 or when you was younger and it was all about coming up with them hot verses and in this atmosphere this is how I feel. And we all want to see each other do well, so…and we’re brothers [points to Pusha-T] so that’s half the battle right there, but we all brothers.Pusha-T: Not even that but this whole Re-Up Gang s**t was started off just straight love for everybody’s talent. We were the Clipse but we was putting Lord Willin’ together and met Liva and I’m talking about Arista’s budget’s open, [we] could have picked anybody in the world and paid ‘em to get on that s**t, but went and found Liva. This guy was busting. Sandman: That type of s**t don’t happen no more these days. For somebody to see you, respect your talent and throw you that bone like, “Come on my n****a let’s ride,” that was thorough and then when you really think about it when they shot that video [Cot' Damn] in Philly I didn’t know them. I was all down there on set, I came down with Red Cafe you know what I’m saying…so I’m sitting back and watching and my mind is blown and I’m like damn these dudes not even from here and they come to my city, show Liva love, Roscoe P. Coldchain (shoutout to Roscoe P. Coldchain) and that was crazy to me.Pusha: Same thing with Sand. Like I didn’t know Sand from a can of paint. I mean straight off the DVD like, Oh this motherf***er nice who this n***a Liva? Oh this n***a from Philly? He’s nice. Yeah, simple as that. Watching Rap City and Clark Kent talking about Sandman, the same guy we seen on the DVD.

 

Then I go to Miami call Kent, ask him about Sandman, and end up getting into a fight, me and Roscoe fighting some other dudes, going to see Clark asking about this guy. He ain’t even there but Clark put it together and I was like, Yo…came down to Virginia and the rest was just what it is. But that’s what the s**t was built off of. It wasn’t built off homeboy s**t, it grew, it’s growing into that. But it was built off, I like the n****a verses.Malice: Everyone carries their own weight

I keep hearing and reading, “They cocaine rappers.” Can somebody give my n****s credit for being able to reinvent that subject that many motherf***n’ times? -Sandman

AllHipHop.com: It’s like an uphill battle because considering all the things you guys mentioned, people that strive for quality material first and foremost aren’t necessarily rewarded for it.Pusha-T: I don’t want their goddamn awards. Don’t want s**t. Just want to put out this music, I don’t want nothing.Sandman: It’s a reward itself to be in this position. I’ma keep it all the way real, we’re in a spot right now that a lot of dudes… I mean we watch movements deteriorate before our eyes that was like mega-respected, so the Re-Up Gang as a group, as a company and just as family as well as men being men. So with that said we’re never going to have those in public feuds and we shouldn’t have any feuds because it’s as simple as us sitting down and talking. So everything over here dope. We like the same beats, we like the beat better than y’all wack n***as and that’s what’s going on over here in the world of Re-Up. S**t’s really fun right now and I’m having a f***n’ ball. Pusha-T: N***as learning s**t and everything. Certain s**t I wouldn’t rhyme to never ever in a trillion f***in’ years rhyme to and it’s be a fight like, “Yo I like this beat.” “Yo, I don’t like this s**t, man you f***in’ crazy.” Well I’ll be crazy and stupid for about 30 minutes. Til I just gotta bow down and be like, “Listen alright let’s try this s**t. “End up next day; “That s**t crazy as a motherf***er!” Ab-Liva: That’s mutual respect you know what I’m saying. We try different things.Sandman: Then you got to understand creatively, n****s is crazy. Liva is a hell of a writer, you already see what the Clipse and them bring to the table as far as they’re lyric driven…And goddamn how many times I keep hearing and reading, “They cocaine rappers.” Can somebody give my n****as credit for being able to reinvent that subject that many motherf****n times ‘cuz like real talk have you ever looked at it like that?Ab-Liva: And give you all kinds of quotables, so many quotables… Sandman: I’m talking about s**t you can see. When it’s that dope, you can’t beat a dead horse…I don’t give a f**k what they rap about, it’s a lot of n*** as out here rapping about s**t and they can’t give it to you different; one and two. Let alone album one, two, mixtape three you know what I’m saying? So just sit back and watch our moves man.Malice: Yeah, but I got a helpful hint to y’all n****s out there – if you just tell the truth sometimes you’ll find that it writes your rhymes damn near basically. [All Laugh] Just tell the truth sometimes, you’d be alright. Pusha-T: You say the greatest s**t when you’re telling the truth. And n****s feel you. That’s how motherf***ers got tattoos of you and s**t you know what I’m sayin’. That’s when n****s be tearing up and s**t. N****s play theysef in front of their girl and all that s**t, that’s when they do all of that because they feel you. And we feel y’all back man. Believe that s**t!Ab-Liva: I had a n****a approach me and told me, “I ain’t d**k ridin’  or nothin’ but y’all make me f**k around and go to jail,” on some real s**t. That’s real talk ‘cuz we speak from true experiences so I felt it when he said that. We get that, that sentiment all across the board wherever we go.Sandman: That’s block music, how the f**k do you not feel it? Like that’s music for the trenches n***a. If you know what the trenches is then you don’t got nothing but appreciation for the s**t we talk. And don’t get it f**ked up and think n***as is piegonholed you never know what we might do to y’all on this Re-Up album. We might take y’all somewhere we ain’t never took y’all. We can rap about ANYTHING – b***hes, politics, you name it we do it. Right now we choose to talk this s**t and it’s real talk for right now.Malice: That’s for right now…there’s no tellin’ what we’ll do.Ab-Liva: Creativity. A lot of creativity is missing from the game and that’s what we’re doing…bringing it back to being creative. ‘Cuz a lot of cats get caught up in just record sales, first week sales and you know let me just know we gonna rock this single but if you listen to our music we do what we gotta do. At the same time we be creative with it, that’s where a lot of cats is f***in up at, they’re stunting their creativity and we’re just trying to up the bar and take it somewhere else.Sandman: And we givin’ y’all a three for one. We gonna lock the duo, the fourman, and the solo s**t all the way down and one puppy. Pusha: And one puppy![Re-Up On Where the Good Hip-Hop Went...]

Sandman: That’s f***in ridiculous, ain’t it?  I know what y’all thinkin but y’all acting like. I’mma keep smilin at y’all n****as because I’m having a ball like seriously if you can’t come to the studio with us then you gotta hear what we puttin’ together and you can smile like, Alright, but until then we’re gonna keep cooking thi s**t up. We’re cooking it up , we’re the Re-Up Gang, we’re gonna cook it up, bang it up and put it in y’all stores  and y’all cop that cuz you’re fiendin’ for this dopeness. I know this. I’m a fan of Hip-Hop. I have a hard f***in time enjoying myself listen  if I don’t got SIRIUS radio, satellite radio or an MP3 player I’m buttf***ed cuz.  I can’t get nothing with y’all. I’m not even trying to be funny I swear on everything. My momma was my first manager. She mad at you n****s too like, What the f**k is going on with these dudes? I was like I don’t know. Expect full s**t in from this crew whether it’s Clipse, Liva’s solo, my solo or the fantastic four, however  you’re gonna get it’s gonna be dope.Malice: What I was going to say back to what Liva was saying about the record sales and all that  man we don’t concern ourselves with that. We always known that Tone Loc and Young MC sold the s**t out of some records but [we] still liked Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, KRS-One, Public Enemy, you know what I’m saying, and all them cats so it’s all about the music.Sandman: And we listen to ourselves, we can’t even listen to y’all n***as. Remember back in the day you used to listen to the radio and you’d call your man like n***a you heard that line?! We do that amongst each other – no bulls**t dog. From laying verses to coming up with verses from blacking out on the radio to whatever we really motivate each other and that’s some s**t that says a lot about what’s going the f**k on in Hip-Hop today that we can’t hear a record on the radio and feel like we gotta run and top that. We’re topping our goddamn selves. That’s real talk.

We always known that Tone Loc and Young MC sold the s**t out of some records but [we] still liked Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, KRS-One, Public Enemy… -Malice

AllHipHop.com: Sandman and Ab-Live, since y’all from Philly what’s up with the crazy high murder rate in your hometown?Ab-Liva: Out of control.AllHipHop.com: What’s going on?Ab-Liva: Get a vest and stay in the crib. It’s out of control. Like Philly always been real hood and a lot of cats know it, but if you live there it’s like you really got to be on your P’s and Q’s, you know, as far as if you’re going to be in the streets. Coming from that…we can go anywhere and just fit in with anybody, it’s all love. But when you’re home you definitely gotta be on your P’s and Q’s cause you’ll be out of here.Malice: You can’t even get a Philly steak sandwich out this b***h. Sandman: It’s crazy you know. Philly definitely Beirut right now but that’s my crib and I love the s**t out of it. Ain’t nothing going on there now that we ain’t lived through thus far, so I say this; you young n***as that’s out there in the streets put some morals into y’all s**t and everything will be alright…real rap. Because young n****s lead our city’s murders, it’s not the older n***as trippin’, it’s some of the bucks. You can’t really get mad you don’t know what’s going on. My thing is I just feel sorry when I read an innocent kid got hit. I know the streets entail murder no matter where you live at if you’re in the streets and you’re in a certain facet of the streets, it’s s**t in the game. But when a kid or old woman, some s**t like that, that’s the bulls**t to me cause I’m going to feel a certain type of way if it’s ever my grandmom or anything like that. Just being in the streets you know what you should do and you know what you shouldn’t do, when it’s time and when it’s not time. N****s gotta make better judgment calls man. Outside of that, you better pray cuz.AllHipHop.com: Now for Pusha and Malice what was that period like for y’all after Exclusive Audio Footage got shelved and before y’all came with Lord Willin’? Pusha-T: I mean for me personally we didn’t know no f***in’ better. I was like, “Okay, I got a video.” I got to shoot my video at home in Virginia so I’m the s**t. The album gets shelved, what that mean? [I] got a  couple of dollars from it, just from the whole breakaway. It was sweet and at the same time it was like f**k it, we’ll just make more records and we’re gonna get it again. Neptunes on the rise. We just got a deal with them before, we’ll do it again. It was no sulking, none of that s**t, man. Malice: This industry thing, it’s like if you good at it and this is what you do, you feel at home with it, you’re not going let this go.  Once you get your foot in the door and you get a taste of it. That’s why you can see a cat, somebody that’s hot out in the video and you look in the background like, “Oh s**t that was Puffy back then,” because you not going to let it go. Either you in it or your around it, you breathing it somehow. You’re going to try and continue. One setback ain’t going to stop it. You just keep it moving, keep going, like Pusha said, we wasn’t just sitting around sulking.  Pusha-T: We was just so new to the game, like s**t we had just pulled it off. Back then I think we was managed by Rob Walker, the Neptunes manager. He always reminded us that our struggle won’t like the regular rap struggle anyway. It wasn’t the 50,000 mixtapes, we ain’t do all that s**t.  It was hot records, you go to an executive, you got a little opening because some other n****s do some beats, and check it out and somebody just sort of clung to it, Sylvia Rhone. At the same time she had a lot on her plate too, with Missy, Busta [Rhymes], Ol’ Dirty. All that was going on at the same time too. It sort of helped us free us out of our situation, being one of those situations where all the heavy hitters get all the attention. And back then they was spending money, like wild cash on videos and all that s**t. So they really had to focus on that type of s**t. So you know it wasn’t no big deal man. Malice: We counted all the blessings.Pusha-T: That was our intro, to the gameAllHipHop.com: What would you say is the biggest thing you learned from your time with Jive?Malice: Nothing I didn‘t already know. One of the things I learned is that you can’t just sit back and wait. You have to stay hustling you got to stay moving, if somebody got you where you can’t move you got to do what you can do. And just try to stay in the game and stay relevant. And just try to stay on top of your s**t. Pusha-T: I think mine would be honestly, you can’t let your emotions…you can’t let everybody see what your thinking. It was times, I was spazzing out up there. Spazzing like I’m banned from the offices.I can’t even go back, like I said this or threatened that or “f**k you b***h.” “White man, b***h, white whore, lynch you…,” all that. I’m talking all wildness, out of frustration. Sandman: Puts your life on pause.Malice: And you don’t think nobody’s feeling it with you.Sandman: And they don’t show you that they feeling that with you. Pusha-T: I think it’s been an asset as well that, really, nobody really taking s**t personally. We understand this vehicle got a mind of its own, and it runs on its own batteries. Because after all the s**t that we said up in them offices, somebody could’ve been a d***head and could have went all the way crazy. Like, “Put them niggas on that shelf right there.” Malice: The one next to the roof!Pusha-T: But you know they took it like every artist got a problem with their label or every artist got a problem with they boss, or whatever. As far as thy’re concerned, it didn’t get too nasty, so I’m grateful for that. Because if it was me, I would have shelved them Clipse n****s. [laughter] “Oh you want to talk like that? Sit up there.” AllHipHop.com: Sand and Live, looking back in hindsight, what would might have you  done differently in your respective situations? Ab-Liva: I totally wouldn’t have anything differently because it got me to this point where I’m at right now. where I’m able to do exactly what I love doing  with my n****s. With cats that’s credible and respect what I do, so I definitely wouldn’t have done anything different. I’ve been through a lot of situations just being in this game but I’m a firm believer in if you work hard, put your work in, it will come back to you. And I just put my work in and just stay true to what I do. I came in the game with these cats and taking it to the next level just happy to be there. Sandman: Yeah for me I definitely learned something. My s**t was I never wanted to sign to a major again in my life. Straight up like I was signed to Interscope, I hadn’t had a mixtape out ever. Now I understand the mixtape grind because I come from that and I made my own records from karaoke machines to my man getting an 8-track in the crib. So I still was I was going through it. But it was never nothing I was pressed for. Until somebody introduced me to Clark, and I was signed to Interscope off four songs by Steve Stoute.  And in about three months all the s**t was over. Nobody called me, nobody had a reason, it definitely wasn’t personal. I just was through dog. I was cool, like I don’t eat Chinese food, so when it’s something I don’t like, that’s Chinese food. So major labels directly for me is Chinese food, I‘m not interested in that So I spent my entire time getting back. Like damn I got to deal with nothing. So how I’m going to be relevant while I’m on the shelf? Mixtapes. So we start putting out mixtapes, my man Big Star started putting out DVDs. And I was just trying to be on independent, I got my own company “Cannons Incorporated,” and I was trying to do that. So when we met T, we heard his plan, it was reminiscent of my plan. “We was like yeah we going be our own bosses and bet.” But me I wasn’t just wouldn’t sign to a major again you know. I think I’m happy where I’m at as far as Re-Up Gang records and like I said my bosses give a f**k about my situation and my position and that’s the thing. Pusha-T: We done been through it. Sandman: It hurt when a n***a don’t care, cuz. It really does. When somebody smiling in your face and when everything good, they see the champion in you and as soon as something go wrong, It’s over! Like that relationship was false than a muthaf***a. That hurts cuz, and that ain’t never happen over here. So what I learned is them majors don’t give f**k and when you get with your crew, your nucleus and your nucleus becomes the focal point, your s**t rides a lot smoother. They’re the focal point so I’m good.

I’ve been through a lot of situations just being in this game but I’m a firm believer in if you work hard, put your work in, it will come back to you. -Ab-Liva

AllHipHop.com: Y’all got your Play Cloths clothing line but do you think cats are taking it too far with the real snug jeans and the small T-shirts?Pusha-T: I don’t care what the f**k they do man. I mean I can’t really comment on that… Sandman: But you can’t blame it on the artists like. Artists always been watched. It’s the n***a wearing it you got to be mad at. You can’t be mad at dude on TV. Everybody go they own style, who told a million muthaf***as to mimic him? So it’s the a$$holes in society that feel like it’s cool to come out and be extra snug and extra medium. I mean let your nuts hang! Your balls got to breathe, it’s the rules to this s**t. N****s stop wearing tighty-whities a long time ago, so now your whole layer tighty-whitey? I’m from Philly I’magive you the khaki, if they come out with some Big and Tall Play Cloths, I’ll give you that too.  Because it’s a team thing over here but I ain’t with all that s**t y’all doing man. Y’all make it hard for a n***a like me to shop.  I’m going to keep it funky; that s**t  got too many prints on it, all this dumb s**t on the pocket — I ain’t even trying to f**k with that s**t. Put your Play Cloths on or some khakis n***a. One or the other.AllHipHop.com: Are y’all still affiliated with Star Trak? Malice: Not business wise. AllHipHop.com: And what’s y’all relationship with Pharrell and Chad like right now?Pusha-T and Malice: It’s all good. Everything is cool, they’re doing production.AllHipHop.com: Now I got to ask you, on the mixtape, there are a number of bars particularly from Malice, like on “Emotionless” when you say, “And as for P he has yet to wish me well/so there it is I pick my bone/Toast to CEO Mal, I sip alone.”Malice: Like I was saying earlier, this thing…and in all fairness, you can’t look for one man to just save everybody. As much as we’ve been through for four years, them couple funky lines ain’t nothing. I actually went through something and even Pharrell he always…if I remember anything about Pharrell he always encouraged you, “If it’s on your mind, write about it.” And that’s what I’m going, I’m just expressing myself. And we still cool. I actually went through it for the four years, or whatever. The only thing a n***a can say to me is, “Touché,” that’s it.  It ain’t no beef; obviously it’s not beef. It’s a ‘08, so you don’t want to go into ’08 and into the future with luggage and I’m just expressing myself. Sandman: Clear your mind, clear your heart, you supposed to move on. Suppose he would have held that s**t in his heart and felt some kind of way and let it grow into some ugliness. It’s good s**t, plus people don’t put their heart in music today. AllHipHop.com: Also, to set the record completely straight, how did this “riff” with Lil Wayne start?

Malice: Yo, from my point of view because I remember, I remember clearly…first of all we wasn’t f***ing with Wayne no way. We was f***ing with Baby, that’s who we did the song [“What Happened to the Boy”] with. Wayne came out and was like, “What up, what up,” and it was cool, no problems. But I remember it was an article I think from Bonsu [Bonsu Thompson formerly of XXL Magazine] and he said something like he heard that the Clipse were mad that Wayne was taking our style. And I listened to Wayne’s response and he was like, Every time I see the Clipse they tell me they respect me and I respect them, and even though we never said that, I was cool with that answer. So there was no problem. In my opinion what happened, the streets was talking a lot and then the interviewer, Tosh [Toshitaka Kondo in Complex Magazine], was interviewing Wayne and you know said something else and it probably got to Wayne.  I can’t speak for that man, but you just don’t talk about the Clipse. You can’t speak on the Clipse. You can’t say nothing about the Clipse. Why would we get upset with anyone wearing BAPE? That ain’t our clothing line. As far as I’m concerned, all the fly n****s was wearing BAPE, that the hot s**t, so I wouldn’t have a problem with that. Besides, were grown men. We’re not that petty. You just can’t speak on us, you can’t say nothing about us. Pusha-T: A lot of people like to say, damn…they don’t be realizing that anything I say be in response to…that s**t be, something gets said, we respond to it, and that be that. Then come the new Complex s**t out, a year later, talking about “Mr. Me Too” and all the fly talk.Malice: I wouldn’t dare right a song and waste my time and energy talking about somebody that don’t mean nothing  or matter nothing to me man. I wouldn’t do that.Pusha-T: And if you hear the verses of “Mr. Me Too”…Malice: That was street s**t…Pusha-T: Yeah, that was some street s**t  that he probably don’t even know nothing about.Sandman: And severely misinterpreted….Pusha-T: Yeah, like for real for real if you listen to the lyrics, you’ll understand. “Mr. Me Too” is talking about being on the road blasé blasé blah. We’ve been away. And we come back home and you n****s still doing that same old bulls**t and y’all still jealous-hearted and acting is if you want to keep up with so on and so forth. Sandman: So if the shoe f***ing fit, rock both of them though. If them b***hes fit, get your walk on, walk it out. Because a n***a ain’t hot enough to dis this clique. Seriously leave that rap s**t alone, let’s just make the music. F**k how you dress we don’t care about none of that s**t. We trying to get money over here.Malice: The kissing s**t ain’t nothing new. We been out there, we seen the kissing then.  So if we wanted to say something we could have said something then. Matter of fact, my tour manager seen them kissing like “Yo yo, you seen them?!” We was like f**k that s**t leave it alone, let’s get this money and go about our business, because that’s how we did it. So if we wanted to instigate and have something to say we would have said something then. Pusha T: We could have rhymed our asses off. We could have put all that s**t together years ago and made it crazy. That ain’t the type of s**t we on man. Sandman: N***a need to concentrate on less features and a dope f**king album. I want to see a dope album from you, real rap. Because I think you pre-hyped the f**k up right now. I think a lot of ni***s is gassed. And I just want to see you live up to the hype. We working on our solo s**t too pimp, so we’ll see you then.AllHipHop.com: Could each of ya’ll talk about what another member brings to the Re-Up Gang? Malice: Sandman brings to the clique in my opinion a hunger, he brings a lot of color. I appreciate what Sandman does because it comes from the origins of what I know Hip-Hop to be. (He) got many different styles, it ain’t just one-sided . He going to give you a dope hook, dope verses, his adlibs are gonna…I could listen to a bunch of adlibs from Sandman. So I like what Sandman brings to the table, it’s raw. Pusha-T:  Liva bring the muthaf***in’ monster pen to the Re-Up Gang. Like he brings lyricism, penmanship, intelligence; he bring the whole articulate, lyrical assassination to the Re-Up Gang. I think it’s heard in all the verses man. It’s a consistency.Malice: I want to talk on Liva too. After you hear Liva’s verse you can’t come with no bulls**t. Like you have to respect it. Like when you hear that…look man, we all be sittin’ in  the studio writing…I don’t even like going to the studio with these n****s because I get frazzled. I don’t know what to do after I hear all these verses but Liva…Pusha-T: And the bastard finishes first.Malice: I hate that!Ab-Liva: I’ma speak on Malice because Malice, makes what I call grown man music. When I listen to his verses…see I’m a big fan of muthaf***as with a pen. I love it; anybody that got a nice pen out there, I show much respect to. Not to often do I hear somebody that write something that make me want to say, “S**t I wish I would have said that!” And he does that consistently with me. Especially on this Volume 3, when I come in the studio and hear some s**t he laid the night before, I’m like “S**t!”  There were so many lines that were going there. To me that’s taking it to the next level. Because I get busy with this pen and I respect everybody, my whole clique comes with them pens. Sandman: I’m going to say I think Pusha, you already know we dope as lyricists right? But omebody got to be the flashy s**t talker. My n***a T don’t got no problem, y’all hear he giving y’all 08 Puff all crazy on these CDs He going to give you the flash, Push don’t mind, flossin’ on y’all. Like I ain’t really a metaphor dude but the n***a ties s**t together so clean. You just got to really peep it. Overall I would say Pusha makes a hell of a front man, as far as just talking that s**t because I’m a heavy s**t talker, and I believe in talking s**t for what it’s worth.  Ab-Liva: He’s a slick talking bastard [pointing to Pusha]. And for anybody that’s not really listening rewind, just get your rewind game on. Sandman: I’m going to give you a verse in particular that you should rewind. Listen to [Pusha’s] “Rainy Dayz” verse. He didn’t even like that, he was like I’m going to f**k wit’ this, I remember what it was. And now I don’t even hear that talk because for a n***a to say he don’t like s**t, f**k that I wait for the joint to be done. Because now n****s is coming back to the table like they left in love. The Clipse, they do what they do, they led the way they looked out for us. And now we get to mow y’all down. Simple as that. (All)R-E-U-P-G-A-N-G!

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