If anyone could claim the record for being heralded as the “most underrated” group in history, these guys would have their names engraved in the trophy hands down. Clipse has managed to drop two classic albums, maintain street credibility and also appeal to the backpacker crowd to create a weird but very solid cult fan base. With their third effort, Malice And Pusha have managed to stay afloat while many other ships from their era have tanked or are now capsizing. Not only is their ship still sailing, but the VA brothers have turned in one the flagship albums to carry us into 2010.
The early release of the much hyped Kanye West collabo “Kinda Like A Big Deal” gave them early steam, but with their history of album delays, it was less of a boost than expected. “I’m Good” had more of a radio-friendly feel and worked for them commercially without letting their hardcore fans down, especially the Rick Ross remix. There still was confusion about how their album would shape up, but that fog was cleared out by the barrage of street material that has leaked in the past month. The Cam’ron-assisted “Popular Demand (Popeyes)” reminded me of the “Wamp Wamp” single with Slim Thug off of Hell Hath No Fury – a street single with a street rapper. Then they came with “Doorman” accompanied by a dope video and the recently leaked “Showing Out” with fellow Coke rap veteran Yo Gotti. My suspicions were confirmed – they turned in another classic.
Content-wise, the production consistency and deeper-than-rap subject matter sets this album apart from the pack. Songs like “There Was A Murder” and “Freedom” delve into their personal dealings with the hood they grew up in and how it still affects their lives and music. The Neptunes deliver most of the beats as usual along with strong contributions from Sean C & LV and DJ Khalil. Lyrically, both brothers do their thing, channeling their emotions into quality lyrics. They have so many quoteables that it wouldn’t do them justice just to put the words up.
The only weak track on ‘Til The Casket Drops is the Keri Hilson collaboration “All Eyes On Me”. Because of the cohesiveness of the entire album, this song seems forced on there. Other than that, no complaints – great music from a great group. Clipse will remain known for quality hip-hop for years to come.