|The Clipse x Jose Canseco x Rob Dibble|
On their newest album, Pusha and Malice of The Clipse upgraded their heartless drug raps to more responsible, introspective drug raps. The Clipse outdid themselves on Til The Casket Drops by successfully expanding their subject matter without abandoning the style that got them here.
Malice joined us to talk about coke rap, fried chicken, Jews, and money. Pusha must have been too busy moving keys.
ML: You’ve said this album is about redemption. Why did you need to redeem yourself. Were you feeling guilty about all the coke rap?
Malice: Nah, it’s not that I was feeling guilty about the coke rap, because that’s very much a real subject matter for The Clipse. I think I took on a responsibility, not just for myself, but just for music in general and I think that we just need to paint the full picture. And I think you should always paint yourself to be victorious and always come out on top. If anybody know the story about The Clipse, you know that we lost a lot of our family in ‘09 to the drug game. And when I say our family, I mean like people that we were with every day. Our entourage. Wherever you seen The Clipse, you seen them from our manager to entourages, everybody. We used to roll so deep, now it’s just four of us. We had a responsibility to share with our fans or anybody that aspire to be like The Clipse out there doing whatever they do to paint the other side of it, because we do have a pretty strong voice.
ML: Have you guys had any contact with Popeyes about a sponsorship?
Malice: Nah, from what we heard they don’t like us. They wanted to endorse us until they listened to the lyrics, then they was like ‘No, get these dudes away from us.’
ML: What kind of reception do you get when you roll up at a Popeyes?
Malice: Well at home, I don’t know if it’s Popeyes or it’s just the fact that they know us, but they’ll always sing the song every time we go in there. ‘Back by popular demand!’
ML: Where’s the best fried chicken in VA?
Malice: The best fried chicken in VA. I’m gonna have to give it up to Feather & Fin, man. Feather & Fin hands down. You must stop there anytime you’re in VA. Ask somebody about Feather & Fin.
ML: Do you guys think the ‘Look what them Jews made me’ line in “Freedom” is offensive?
Malice: I don’t know. ‘Look what them Jews made me.’ I don’t know if it’s offensive or not, but we’re black so you should never get offended by anything that we say. I don’t know where that comes from, because especially over history we have been at the butt of everything, so I wouldn’t be offended if I was another race and somebody black said something about me. For real, I just wouldn’t be. I feel like minorities, we all in the same boat together. I think if we can say nigga we can say anything else.
ML: You guys started recording this album a long time ago. Have there been any major changes since you first started recording?
Malice: No, I just think once we got into it, we got into it. We may have started a minute ago, but it wasn’t a consistent work effort. I think once we really got into it, it took about maybe four and a half months to go ahead and bang out what we did.
ML: Was anything dope left on the cutting room floor?
Malice: Nah. We don’t even do that. We don’t even do that. Every song that we attempt to do, like if we agree with the beat and we agree with the hook, then we know what we supposed to do with it. I don’t know if it’s been a gift or a curse, but we definitely don’t make 30 songs and then scale back 15 and pick which ones we want. Anything that we start on or initiate, we definitely finish it and you get everything that we work on.
ML: You guys have a history of murdering pop tracks. Are there any out right now that you wanna rip?
Malice: There is one regret. Every time I hear the song, I wish I got on it, but “American Boy” by Estelle – I love that. Something about that song that – I don’t know, I would’ve loved to spit 16 on it or something. Other than that nothing really comes to mind. I enjoy that because it’s a different change of pace. It seems like you could just be more serious and more casual about it. We serious about our drug rap. [laughs]
ML: Can we expect to hear you freestyle over that on the next mixtape?
Malice: I think I let the time get away from me on that one. I’ll find something else fresh though and bust to that.
ML: Why is it that club-ready Neptunes beats go so well with vicious coke rap?
Malice: I don’ know. We slid under the radar on Neptunes tracks. People were just so caught up in those beats that I guess they really, at the time, didn’t know what it was we were saying and by the time they figured out what we were talking about, it was too late. We were already radio with “Grindin’” and also “Like I Love You” with Justin Timberlake. No one really saw that coming. We always stay in character, but it’s just we grew up with the Neptunes and we know their chemistry and they know us and we just always seem to mesh really well.
ML: Do you guys make more money off clothes or music?
Malice: I would say music, because we’ve been into music way longer. Way longer. I don’t have to really think about that too much, that’s cutting it easy thus far. But we’re getting into a bunch of other things as well. Not just fashion, I wrote a book and we also started a film company called Re-up Gang Films. So I think with the declining CD sales it would behoove anybody to try their hand at whatever they can get into.
ML: Do you plan on doing solo projects?
Malice: Yeah definitely. We’re gonna do solo projects. We’re gonna just try to maximize everything that we can. Every avenue, we’re gonna do solo projects, we’re gonna come back together as Clipse, you’re gonna get a solo album from Ab-Liva and whatever opportunities this game presents to us, we gonna do it.
ML: What was the last thing you bought?
Malice: Let’s see, let’s see. The last thing that I bought. Oh, a furniture set for my house.