Back in the mid 90’s when I was hosting Morgan State’s hip hop show, one night one of the DJ’s threw on this record that was crazy and it had this ILL Blood, Sweat and Tears sample.
“Whether they gag me, bound me, hollow point round me, dump me off the side of a bridge and drown me, spare my family the details on how they found me, vigil by candlelight and gather round me.”
The name of the group was the Clipse, the name of the song was “The Funeral” and they were produced by some cats called the Neptunes and they were from Virginia. These cats are from Virginia? Yup…Virginia.
It would be a minute til I heard from them and when I did, I was blown away…again.
“From ghetto to ghetto to back yard to yard, I sell it whip to whip, it’s off the hard.”
“Grindin” was FLAT OUT SICKENING! Their debut album “Lord Willin” was solid and their 2nd album “Hell Hath No Fury” Is damn near a classic in my eyes. And in between those two albums we’ve been blessed with some DOPE Re-Up Gang (the Clipse and 2 ill Philly mc’s Ab Liva and Sandman) mixtapes and if ANYONE has EVER heard the Clipse, ya’ll know these dudes are both serious PROBLEMS! And everytime I think these dudes have run out of interesting ways to talk about selling crack…they always find another.
“I’m the hood’s Obama, shoveling McCain through the project windows, where drama’s insane.”
Cats didn’t know how to take Kanye signing Pusha to G.O.O.D. Music and not Malice. Were we seeing another dope hip hop group calling it quits? I can’t call exactly what’s going on but both brothers have individual projects dropping this year, and both projects don’t disappoint.
“I gotta answer to Marcus and Janelle, and to little brother Terrance, that who I love dearly so, if ever I had millions, never would you push blow, never” – Malice
Malice checks in with his project first, but don’t get it twisted, Malice isn’t checking in with his solo debut CD, but rather his debut as an author. “Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind and Naked” is penned under his government name, Gene Elliott Thornton Jr. and for me was what I like to call a “can’t stop, won’t stop” book which basically means I couldn’t put it down. Throughout “Wretched…” Malice shares his struggles with balancing this hip hop game with his faith in God which is a balancing act I’m trying to perfect myself.
Throughout the book, we see Malice struggle with his health, his money, infidelity and fame all the while feeling he’s a pawn in a spiritual battle going on for his soul between God and satan. “Wretched…” to me is reminiscent of the book of Job, which is my favorite book in the Bible. The book of Job is about satan talking trash to God about a good dude named Job and basically telling God that Job only praises Him because of the riches God has blessed him with. So God allows satan to test Job while giving satan the paramaters to what he can and can’t do to Job. Throughout all the tests, Job never curses God and gets back everything he lost and then some. If you wanna find out what decisions Malice makes for his soul, you’ll have to cop the book to see for yourself.
So while Malice is getting his Richard Wright on, what’s the younger of the Thorton brothers getting into? Take a wild guess.
“Travel lodge stories, I pray that you ignore me, if you can’t feel the pain of a hustler in his glory, hiding money in the wall from the 1st to 3rd story, ATL Glenridge condos true story.” – Pusha T
Yup, you guessed it, Pusha’s back on his BS doing what he does best. And if you’re a Clipse fan like I am, then “Fear of God” is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. By now you’ve had to have heard “My God” and “Cook It Down” and both are just flat out digusting! “Alone In Vegas” has Pusha over a laid back Nottz banger where he spits “whiter then the coke brush that they paint me with, sunk leather seats softer than an angel’s kiss, but they devil red, tires double tread, I post and parks up, that gives me double head.” “I Still Wanna Rock” produced by the Inkredibles has Rick Ross and Ad-Liva joining the party to support Pusha in his love of selling kilos and “Touch It” with Mr. West gives you a sneak preview on how the newest G.O.O.D. Music signee and his boss get down together. But no matter where Pusha goes for beats, there’s no place like home when Pharrell and the Neptunes are behind the boards and “Raid” is all the proof you need to back that statement up. “Raid” not only gives you that classic Clipse sound you can never get enough of, it also features a focused 50 Cent who spits his best verse I’ve heard in a minute.
Even though both brother’s offerings are in two totally different arenas, you can’t go wrong with either one. In fact, both basically go together hand in hand. So no matter which one of your senses you choose to use, your eyes or your ears, neither will be disappointed with what the Clipse are pushing in your hood this go ’round.
Malice’s Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind and Naked: 3.5 outta 5
Pusha T’s Fear of God: 3.5 outta 5