Til The Casket Drops — Interview with Malice of Clipse
By: Navani Otero and The Company Man
It’s been quite a decade for Clipse.
After “Grindin’” onto the Hip Hop landscape in 2001 with debut album, Lord Willin, withstanding a vicious label dispute with Jive Records to drop the seminal LP, Hell Hath No Fury, and solidifying their lyrical reputation with 2009’s Til The Casket Drops — the brothers Thornton (Malice and Pusha T) have compiled one of rap’s most respected resumes. Clipse’s largely cocaine laced content embodies the spirit of Scarface and Raekwon, impressing with imagery and lyrical dexterity, always providing consequence to the context. As Malice states in this interview, their “credentials are good.”
BrooklynBodega.com caught up with Malice following Clipse’s chest thumping performance at NYC’s Highline Ballroom. Read on as we discuss the duo’s southern roots, their rumored association with Roc Nation, passport holders, and upcoming solo albums for Malice and Pusha T.
BB: As I think about the career of the Clipse, you guys have been out about 8 years now, you’ve had three albums and every one is critically acclaimed. At the same time, you’re from Virginia. When you come to New York, you rock the mic, you rock the crowd and you’re not treated like typical southern Emcees. At this point in your journey, how do you feel about your career?
Malice: I feel good about the career. God is great. I think its just about having solid bodies of work. Our credentials are good. You can check them out. You’re not going to find nothing about us later to come to the light that shouldn’t be there or nothing like that. Our fans recognize our music, recognize it as being genuine and real because it does come from a very real place. It is because of the fans, you know, that keeps us as strong as we are so we really appreciate that.
BB: As you’ve gone through your career, you’ve had several label situations. We know about Jive, we know about all the dirty history. But rumor is that you’re at Roc Nation now…
BB: The rumor is that you just signed to Roc Nation.
Malice: Huh? Who said that?
BB: You’re not ready to confirm that one yet?
Malice: I’m not confirming that one. Nah.
BB: Is it up in the air still?
Malice: I didn’t even know it got off the ground, B. I’m not even talking about that.
BB: Are you sure?
Malice: I’m positive. I would tell you. When we’re ready, we’ll talk about that.
BB: Thats whats up. Where is the Clipse going next? Coming off Lord Willin‘ to Hell Hath No Fury to Til The Casket Drops, what’s next for the Clipse?
Malice: As most people know, we’re looking into doing our own solo albums. There are different sides to the Clipse. And you know, when we come together as Clipse we have to honor that brand and what the people know us for. Everybody has more than one side, you know what I’m saying? I think I let people in on my spiritual side a lot as of lately. You can go to www.MaliceOfTheClipse.com and check out my video blogs. I have a book coming out as well called Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind, and Naked. My brother and I are going to do solo albums. Ab Liva’s going to do his solo. We’re going to come back together and do more Clipse albums and just expand as much as we can until the fans get tired of us.
BB: For me personally, up until Hell Hath No Fury, sonically I could never tell you guys apart. Visually you guys look alike. Do you get that a lot from your fans?
Malice: [We] used to. [We] we used to in the beginning. But, you know, the more the fans follow us and learn more about us, they can tell us a part now.
BB: It was more obvious on [Til The Casket Drops].
Malice: Yeah. I don’t see it, you know what I’m saying. [Laughs] My dad’s got strong genes, I guess. We favor of course, we’re brothers [so] we’re supposed to. But we’re definitely two different people.
BB: Do you classify yourself as Southern Hip Hop? How do you see yourselves?
Malice: Virginia is southern, but its not Dirty South, you know what I’m saying? If you want to classify it you could say Mid-Atlantic, I guess. But its definitely been East Coast Hip Hop that raised us, so that would be our strongest influence.
BB: Is there a clothing line in the works?
Malice: Play Cloths. Play Cloths. We’re one year strong right now. Four seasons, four sell outs. As you can see I got on the Play Cloths G-Shock, right here. Play Cloths shirt. We got everything from hats, scarves, passport holders, belts, everything…
BB: Did you say passport holders?
Malice: Yeah. Everything. Triple Fat Goose. Go to www.playcloths.com. Just check us out. We’re in 100 boutiques nationwide.