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Hopes that 2008 would see the release of Clipse‘s long-awaited full-length follow-up to their 2006 classic, Hell Hath No Fury, have been assuaged, as the Virginia-based duo instead offered up a new mixtape to temporarily satiate fans’ anticipation—-especially after the glaring mediocrity of the Re-Up Gang album in August. The release is as much a promo for their recently-launched clothing line, Play Cloths, as it is for the new record, though, featuring recent chart-topping beats such as Jim Jones’ “Pop Champagne” and T.I.’s M.I.A.-pilfered “Swagger Like Us.” Download it via the Play Cloths site here.
Don’t expect a reinvented Clipse, though; Road to ’til the Casket Drops exhibits another articulate serving of the “coke flow” that Malice and Pusha T have “prototyped” (as Pusha proclaims on “S.L.U.”) over the past decade. As the album title alludes, it appears that duo’s subject matter won’t deviate from cocaine hustle anytime soon either. According to a recent interview with SOHH.com, Pusha T even explains that fear of alienating their fan base is one reason why the duo sticks to the “crack rap”:
“When Jay-Z got real rich and went real Kingdom Come, everybody sh*tted on him. That’s just what it is,” said Pusha. “I’m not trying to cater to the guy reading the Wall Street Journal every morning.”
I know, I know, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but Clipse are seriously two of hip-hop’s most talented lyricists, and limiting their music’s content to such a narrow, morally-objectionable scope also restricts their potential as artists. But then again—-as a white, middle-class music nerd who knows nothing of V.I.P sections and moving mountains of powder—-I’m not exactly Clipse’s target market, along with “the guy reading the Wall Street Journal every morning.”
What makes me love Clipse so much, then? Well, even though I can’t necessarily relate to the message they’re sending, I can still appreciate the lyrical, rhythmic genius involved in penning gems like:
“To all the mothers cryin’ at the sentencin’
Finger to the judge, echoin’ our sentiments
It’s in the blood, we play the streets diligent,
Prepare for the flood as written in Genesis.”
“We ain’t in the same boat,
Throw ’em a life jacket.
Voted for Barack
McCain was my tax bracket, though”
Merely quoting doesn’t do Malice’s delivery full justice though — check the MP3 below for an excerpt from his verse on “S.L.U.,” containing the brilliance directly above:
Clipse – “S.L.U.” (excerpt)
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Along with the essential Neptunes, the forthcoming record is also rumored to feature production from Kanye, Rick Rubin, Timbaland, and Scott Storch. Quite a lineup, eh? As of now, expect ‘Til the Casket Drops to be released sometime during the first quarter of ’09.