Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Clipse interview + New Yorker article

This interview with Malice came a couple of days ago on Pitchfork. Malice, along with Pusha T, are the Clipse. Their CD Hell Hath No Fury is by far the best rap album of 2006, second only to Ghostface Killa's Fishscale.

Malice on writing–
What we do is, [when] we're working with Pharrell [Williams], we'll discuss the hook and where we want to go with it. And after we talk about it, Pusha goes off into his world, and I go off into mine. And we write like that. We both write while we're driving in the car; I write in the shower. I've always got the music playing. I always have whatever instrumental I'm writing to ready. So first thing in the morning when I get up and hop in the shower, I'm singing that, and I get a lot of fresh ideas as soon as I wake up. But throughout the day, whether I'm just kicking it with some friends or we're driving around, it's always on repeat in the car. And we just continue to play with it and turn those words and just pull from [our] memory banks.

And the Neptunes and Timbaland
I will say this: Even though I've been rapping since way before I met the Neptunes, I was just never satisfied with the beats I came across. I would meet cats that would have tapes and tapes of a whole bunch of beats, but they wouldn't inspire me. And when I got with the Neptunes, I thought their beats were so insane. But before the Neptunes, in all fairness, I did come across one guy whose beats were ridiculous-- this was in high school-- and that's Timbaland. That's DJ Timmy Tim.

And as for the New Yorker, in the January 1 issue there was a short on "cocaine rap" featuring the Clipse and Young Jeezy. The article pointed out that the two artists' recent albums were all about cocaine, a shift from the rappers of the early nineties (think Native Tongues) who "tried to placate moralists." The article wasn't a cautionary slap on the wrist, a wake up call to the glamorization of cocaine. They just wanted to point out the incredible words and wordplay the two rappers use to paint their picture of the drug industry.

This is how the article ended: "We may never know what the Thorntons really think about cocaine's effect on the world, but we can hear what it does to their words." This is literary-magazine praise for coked out wordplay. As Malice says in the interview, "we are wordsmiths" and "all we can control is the verses." That the whole album is all about bakin, cuttin, dealin, and spendin' from the sale carries no moral consequence. It's so stripped down and believable that all we can listen to are the words.

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