Release Date: Dec 8, 2009
Record label: Sony
Had Clipse made a concerted attempt to outstrip Hell Hath No Fury, Til the Casket Drops would have likely come out sounding like self-parody. The Thorntons’ previous set was so cold, lean, and efficient, the product of the circumstances under which it was made, that it is impossible to imagine an album of identical makeup trumping it. So, for the most part, Pusha T and Malice approached their third album -- their first for Columbia -- as a reflection of where they were at when they recorded it.
Given Pusha-T and Malice’s last - and deservedly feted – album marked them out as brash, blunt wordsmiths, happy to brag about their cars, their money and their coke deals (for once, it turned out they weren’t exaggerating on that last one , it’s a little surprising that the opening track of ‘Til The Casket Drops finds Pusha in unexepectedly pensive form. “I owe y’all” he intones over stars and stripes stadium rock and strings production. "I just don’t feel nothing, I’m numbed by the will to gain".
P.O.S. :: Chill, dummyDoomtree RecordsAuthor: Patrick TaylorI've been a fan of Stefon "P.O.S." Alexander since his debut nearly 10 years ago. On "Audition" and 2009's "Never Better," he proved himself to be one of the few artists who could successfully meld punk rock and hip-hop. Fellow Minnesotans ….
Referencing label tumult as a part of the Clipse narrative may have become played-out months before Hell Hath No Fury was released, but really, label tumult is the Clipse narrative. You’d be hard pressed to find a rap act that has had its career screwed over more by the major-label system than the brothers Clipse. In 1999, they recorded an excellent debut, Exclusive Audio Footage, a cinematic trip through slinging dope and living with the fear that life is short and cheap, that was shelved by Elektra after lead single “The Funeral” tanked.
Time magazine recently declared that we're about to finish up the "decade from hell," and it really does feel like people are more desperate than usual to flip the calendar and start something clean. In spite of the success they've achieved in the 2000s, count Clipse amongst that group looking to put the past 10 years behind them: After their manager got arrested for a role in an eight-figure drug ring, some of coke-rap's leading voices were put in the unusual position of having to deny they were coke dealers. While their mid-decade output was in large part defined by a combative relationship with Jive, they're now on Columbia after an ardent courtship.
All of the problems with Clipse's new album can be heard on the track Popular Demand (Popeyes), which starts with a menacing beat topped by luxurious piano tinkling courtesy of Pharrell's Neptunes. Then comes a head-spinning first verse from Pusha T, in which he name-checks boutique hotels in Miami Beach and taunts LeBron James in the same breath. [rssbreak] Then the wheels come off.
The Thornton brothers have, like too many other MCs, dealt with the frustration of label issues and album delays. Ever since dropping their debut, Lord Willin’, it’s been nothing short of trouble for Pusha T and Malice. Even with a few hit singles, such as “When the Last Time” and “Grindin’”, and a top-tier production team (the Neptunes), Clipse still went through the label drama that hip-hop has become known for.
CHRIS BROWN"Graffiti" (Jive) There it is, reasonably well hidden, 3 minutes 38 seconds into “Lucky Me,” the 11th of 13 tracks on “Graffiti,” the third album by Chris Brown: the moment of contrition. Up through that point he tried out some other strategies for publicly facing his tarnished ….