The Clipse’s Pusha T, In His Words…

It’s been a winding road for the Virginia duo know as the Clipse. But through it all they continue to grind and are now set to release Clipse Presents The Re-Up Gang via Koch Records. The album will serve as formal introduction, in case you’ve been lost the last few years, to the group’s affiliates Sandman and Ab-Liva. In addition to the Re-Up Gang project brothers Malice and Pusha T are busy working on their third studio album, the first on Columbia, ‘Til The Casket Drops, for a first quarter ‘09 release. AllHipHop.com chopped it up with Pusha T about Rick Ross’  situation, the importance of distinguishing reality from entertainment, and Re-Up Gang’s disdain for commercial music. “In regards to the [Rick] Ross thing, I still don’t know the ins and outs of it. If it was true and he denied it, that’s where the issue comes in. I think it could’ve been true. I mean it said he was like 18. He was fresh out of high school so what the f**k does that mean? That’s nothing. It was nothing to lie about. I think it’s more so the lie that raises people’s eyebrows.

“This whole Hip-Hop community has given out a lot of passes and let a lot of s**t fly so I, for one, am not going to begin to crucify Ross.”

“It’s unfortunate because I think Ross has the best album out thus far. I watch everybody criticize and critique but the Hip-Hop community has given out more muthaf**kin’ passes for other s**t. They let n****s play with gayness and homosexuality. They let n****s play with sexual abuse of kids and s**t. All this s**t goes on and nobody checked or chastised none of that. I mean they ready to hang this muthafucka for having a job. But, like I said, if that is true the lie is what gave people the ball to run with. But truthfully, this whole Hip-Hop community has given out a lot of passes and let a lot of s**t fly so I, for one, am not going to begin to crucify Ross.My Lifes The S*** – Clipse Presents: Re-Up Gang“In the beginning, Hip-hop was based on what was going on in the streets. It was about what was going on in the lives of the artists. I feel it should always have that basis. It should always have that foundation of some level of reality. We can hear that in a lot of artists. On the flip side, this is entertainment. For instance, I can listen to BIG, listen to ‘Juicy’ and feel what he was talking bout and I could relate to what he was saying. But I know when I heard ‘I Got a Story to Tell’ I know he didn’t really shoot the basketball player. Even though that was fiction, you still loved the story telling and the imagery.

“I don’t want no kid going out and doing all the things we say on tracks. If I went out and did everything Kool G Rap said on a track I’d be in jail right now.”

“I think the Clipse, and I think I can speak for my brother, we can say what we say. The drug thing is a concept we play off of but we also do it creatively. There’s an art to it. Like on the ‘Everybody Nose’ remix. I said, ‘All these rapper ‘o,’ ‘ki’/every line is ‘o,’ ‘ki’/all of that is okey dokey.’ That s**t is okey dokey. We don’t just do it like them. We’re different. I’m hoping that the listeners, people that are and aren’t Clipse fans can find the art in what we do. Maybe I’m being naïve with that but I’m hoping that they do. But I don’t want no kid going out and doing all the things we say on tracks. If I went out and did everything Kool G Rap said on a track I’d be in jail right now. I’m a G Rap fan, been fanned the f**k out. But come on, I’d be dead if I did that.“Columbia [Records] came to the table with a deal that not only spoke money to the Clipse, but they offered equity in the group and the dudes we were trying to sign. It gave us a chance to have a big future in this music thing. We did two classic albums with the Neptunes. I feel like the fans want to hear us on other production. We got The Runners, Swizz Beatz, Sean C and LV, the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, DJ Khalil and Reefa.

“People want to hear us talk that s**t and that’s what they’re always going to get. It’s always going to be lyric driven.”

“We don’t care about sales. We don’t care about none of that s**t. We care about making incredible music and locking in that fanbase and whatever comes from that is what it is. My fans don’t gravitate towards ringtone records. People want to hear us talk that s**t and that’s what they’re always going to get. It’s always going to be lyric driven. If we do a club record it’ll be our style of club record. We got to bring you into our world. “That’s what makes it so hard for the Clipse. We try to bring whole groups of people into our world and not all the time it’s understood. But when they do get it, it’s explosive. People didn’t understand ‘Grindin’’ at first. It took like nine months but once they got it, it was all over. That’s just what we focus on.”

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