The contemporary realm of hip hop music can be seen as polarized between two sides; mainstream versus underground, industry versus independent, at a base level boiled down to catchy sounds & infective hooks over higher quality lyrical content. These elements don’t need to be mutually exclusive, but these days it’s rare to find an act that can please all sides of the discussion. Clipse are one of the few groups that successfully and consistently caters to both sides of rap’s splintered psyche, simultaneously serving the scene with upbeat bangers that get the club poppin’ & subwoofers rattlin’ while crafting clever quotable compositions deserving of repeated headphone submersions. Though their preceding official albums “Lord Willin’” & “Hell Hath No Fury” made bigger splashes commercially, 2009’s “Til The Casket Drops” is surely no slouch, a gem which deserves to be revisited with fresh ears – good thing Get On Down has given it the proper treatment it deserves with its first-ever vinyl pressing!
Clipse have always delighted in dualities, juxtapositions and contradictions, unabashedly celebrating the capitalistic lifestyle and the grind as the kings of ‘coke-rap’, while taking hard looks at society’s mores and those of their own individual journeys. We hear Malice’s eventual transition to No Malice taking form on this album as he found religion, warning others who might follow in his path on ‘Footsteps’: “don’t let my wrongs give you the right of way/ to emulate my past escaping the law’s grasp” while refusing to be pinned down in one lane: “it weights on my conscience and I hate conscious rap”. Meanwhile Pusha T continues his lyrical ascent into the King Push persona with bars like “pompous motherfucker, look what them jewels made me/ I’m only finding comfort in knowing you can’t replace me/ What a thing to say, but what am I to do/ I’m role-playing a conscious nigga and true is true/ Cocaine aside, all of the bloggers behooved/ My critics finally have a verse of mine to jerk off to” decisively on album opener “Freedom”.
Since it dropped, the Clipse have stated that Casket… is their final album together while subsequently alluding to the possibility of an eventual reunion. Only time will tell, but until then it’s time to re-celebrate one of hip hop’s most dynamic duos by hearing “Til The Casket Drops” in a whole new light with its long-overdue, first time on vinyl pressing via Get On Down featuring all 13 original tracks on wax and cover art by the legendary KAWS! It’s kinda like a big deal…
Popular Demand (Popeyes)
Kinda Like A Big Deal
There Was A Murder
Never Will It Stop
All Eyes On Me
Get On Down GET 51324LP