Clipse Hell Hath No Fury

Clipse Hell Hath No Fury
Portraying a hustler that happens to rhyme has paid off for some recently, dutifully fulfilling the coke rap fetish of voyeuristic listeners. Judging from the minimalist backhanded slap to bandwagon jumpers delivered on "Mr. Me Too,” the Thornton brothers want another piece of the problematic pie. Since the release of their influential 2002 debut Lord Willin’ they’ve been relegated to the sidelines, only participating through their critically acclaimed We Got it 4 Cheap mix-tapes. Unlike many of their subgenre peers, Pusha T and Malice have a multi-dimensional approach to slinging verbals. Their dextrous lyrical wordplay often manifests coolly detached flows that revel in contradictory logic. Wit, menace, a taste for conspicuous consumption ("Ride Around Shinin’”) and collective economic empowerment ("Hello New World”) are all often conveyed mere moments apart. Produced entirely by the Neptunes, the Clipse eschew the slickness that occasionally appeared on their debut, which the production duo also helmed. Pusha T and Malice soar over the glorious steel pan cacophony of "Wamp Wamp (What It Do)” and form an unsettling alliance on the eerie "Keys Open Doors.” The uneasiness is intensified when Pusha T and Malice momentarily drop the remorseless swagger. Their self-reflexive tactic on "Momma I’m So Sorry” is revisited again on the Geto Boys-channelled paranoia of "Nightmares,” underscoring the occupational hazards of blurring reality.

What do you say to those that think the Clipse only rhyme about drugs? Pusha T: If you listen to the Clipse and say that all we rhyme about is cocaine, you ain’t really listening. At the end of the day we do street hip-hop. We do hip-hop for the listeners, for the passionate music lovers. There’s a whole lot of philosophy in everything we say. A whole lot of pictures are being painted, a whole lot of metaphors — everything that embodies the art of hip-hop.

These tracks don’t sound like typical Neptunes productions… Yeahhh [claps hands]. We tell Pharrell [Williams] and Chad [Hugo], "Listen, we don’t want anything you did for anybody else. Take all the cards that go in the keyboards, take those and throw them away. And then you find some new cards. And let’s just make some new music.” As you can tell no song on my album sounds like [Ludacris’] "Money Maker,” no record on my album sounds like "Hollaback Girl,” that I’m listening to right now. It’s all about trying to disrupt radio and making the radio people at the label hate you because they don’t know how to break your record.

You’ve said in the past you were going for a darker mood on this album. We weren’t going for a darker sound, it’s where we are. We make music based on feeling. If I was to tell you I was ready to party and pour honey on my chest and rap to women then I’d be lying, ’cause I don’t feel like that right now. I have a bitter feeling towards the record industry, number one. Number two, we just write about moments in our lives, period. So that’s why the album is dark. This was a dark period. (StarTrak)